2018 saw dramatic changes when it comes to airline rankings. For example, for the criteria of revenue generated per passenger per kilometre flown, Lufthansa Group has grabbed the pole position and dethroned Air France-KLM. The Anglo-Spanish IAG (British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus) held on to the third place.
There are many reasons why the amount of money being made by Airlines fluctuates. Air France was affected by several strikes during the year, for example. You must take into consideration that they have achieved a very important milestone in 2018: Air France-KLM surpassed the 101 million passengers mark for the first time. If you’d like to find out which are the biggest airlines in Europe, we already have the ranking for you.
Fly around the world with these airlines*
*Or at least to a ton of different countries
North America has also seen some developments. The top 3 of the largest airlines have changed. Although American Airlines remain in the first place, United have managed to reclaim the second place from Delta Airlines, who had occupied the position since 2015. Delta Airlines closes this top 3 of the largest North American airlines.
However, we’ve decided to create a different type of ranking. We’ve done some research and we’ve compiled a list of airlines whose flight routes will take you all around the world. In awe, we’ve selected and ranked the airlines according to the number of countries they fly to. We haven’t taken into account the destinations you can reach if you buy a ticket with them because this would count destinations to which you would have to fly with a “partner” and not with the airline per se. So, if you’ve ever speculated about which airlines are the ones that fly to most countries around the world, do not ask yourself any longer! Here is the answer:
Let's begin with some honourable mentions.
Ryanair, flying to a booming total of 225 destinations but only 35 countries.
Iberia, who's just 3 countries behind number 10!
EgyptAir, the airline flies from Egypt to 48 countries. The country's geographical position couldn't work any better for the airline.
Here they are then, the world's major airlines by countries served!
10. Aeroflot, 52 countries served
Sadly known for its accidents and lack of safety in the 1970s and 1980s, the Russian national airline has undergone a makeover. Nowadays, it is one of the best airlines in the world and one of the most punctual. Aeroflot will connect you from its main hub in Moscow - Sheremetyevo to 52 countries across Asia, Europe and North America.
9. Delta Airlines, 57 countries served
As mentioned previously, Delta is one of the biggest airlines in the U.S.A. Therefore, they connect their passengers to 57 countries around the world. Their main hub is Atlanta’s International Airport. But they operate various routes departing from major cities in the U.S.A.
8. KLM, 66 countries served
Flying mostly from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Royal Dutch airline connects the small European country with the rest of the world. In a country where internal flights are almost unnecessary, one could easily infer that its flag carrier would be specialised in international flights!
7. United Airlines, 73 countries served
The second and last American airline on this list. 73 countries is already an impressive tally. As a founding member of the Star Alliance, the world's largest airline partnership scheme, it can probably fly you to most countries in the world. The airline achieved greater success after its merger with Continental Airlines. Since it happened, its major hubs have been Chicago O'Hare, Houston Intercontinental and Newark Liberty International.
6. British Airways, 75 countries served
The UK's flag carrier connects the British Isles with the rest of the world with its main hub, London Heathrow. London's main airport is also the busiest in Europe and it's famous for its score of international flights to all around the planet.
5. Emirates, 77 countries served
Even though the last three positions have been very close, Emirates rises above BA with just two more countries served. The airline, part of what some experts call the ME3 (along with Qatar and Etihad), has seen incredibly rapid growth in the last decades. Its main hub, Dubai International, as well as the brand itself, are frequently associated with luxury travel. It was recently involved in a court ruling in which the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of passengers when they've missed their connecting flight outside the EU due to a delay.
4. Qatar Airways, 83 countries served
Qatar's national airline and flag carrier operates from Doha's Hamad International Airport. As well as Emirates, it has enjoyed incredibly fast growth in the last decades. It can be considered a young airline since it was only created in 1993. It recently joined the Oneworld alliance, making it easier for its passengers to reach every corner of the planet.
3. Air France, 85 countries served
The French flag carrier's operations and routes are so vast that it utilises both of Paris' main airports as its hubs. Charles de Gaulle is utilised, although not exclusively, as the main hub for international flights and Paris Orly functions as their hub for local flights.
2. Lufthansa Group, 105 countries served
In number two, it's no surprise that Lufthansa towers above its own European competitors. In 2017, it took Ryanair's place atop the list of the biggest airlines in Europe by passengers transported. Surely, Europe's biggest airlines must fly to a large number of different countries. Although some people might consider it cheating since this group includes the likes of Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss Air, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines among others.
1. Turkish Airlines, 121 countries served
According to the UN, there are 195 countries in the world. Turkish Airlines will fly you to 121 of them, which makes up 62% of all the countries in the world. Very impressive. The airline's new hub, Istanbul International Airport, is set to become one of the world's biggest and most visited aerodromes. Beating even Egypt when it comes to their strategic location between Europe, Asia and Africa, the airline already flies around 60 million passengers each year and has a fleet of over 300 aircraft. With their shiny new airport, we expect the airline to keep on expanding and living up to their slogan: "widen your world".
Some of these airlines are European and most of them operate flights from Europe. Did you know that if you were flying with a European airline, or flying from Europe with a not EU carrier, and your flight has been cancelled or delayed, you may be entitled to compensation? If you've arrived at your final destination with a delay greater than 3 hours (2 hours for cancellations) you may be entitled to a compensation of up to £530! Check your flight for free below to learn if you can claim compensation.
Can I claim if a cancellation or delay made me lose my connecting flight?
Yes! even if you were travelling to a country outside the EU. Furthermore, if the disruption occurred outside of the EU, you can claim compensation as long as an airport inside the EU was stated as the starting point in your single unit booking.
We know it sounds a bit complicated but we can take care of it. Check your flight for free and then you can submit your claim with Flight-Delayed on a 25% win fee basis. That means if we do not claim your compensation successfully, you don't have to pay our win fee. Best of all, our 25% win fee covers all the legal expenses we may incur in whilst claiming your compensation. Exercise your rights!
To sum it up, these are the airlines that fly to the highest number of countries all around the world:
- Turkish Airlines, 121 countries
- Lufthansa Group, 106 countries
- Air France, 85 countries
- Qatar Airways, 83 countries
- Emirates, 77 countries
- British Airways, 75 countries
- United Airlines, 73 countries
- KLM, 66 countries
- Delta Airlines, 57 countries
- Aeroflot, 52 countries served
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