Delta, Southwest, China Southern Top 3 Airlines in Traffic for 2014

By Jesse Sokolow on 17 September 2015
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Delta aircraft at LaGuardia

Delta aircraft at LaGuardia

Two U.S. airlines and one in Asia carried more passengers than any others last year, according to figures published by the International Air Transport Association on Wednesday.

Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and China Southern Airlines were the top three airlines in the world, the same rankings as 2013, based on the number of scheduled passengers carried, according to statistics published by the IATA.  Additionally, all three airlines showed substantial increases over the previous year’s figures.

The IATA figures list American Airlines and US Airways as two separate carriers as they were flying under two separate operating certificates last year but the combined American, with 142.3 million passengers, would have topped the list.

Delta carried a total of 129.4 million passengers, approximately nine million more than its figure of 120.6 million in 2013, while Southwest ranked second in 2014 with 129.1 million passengers, a massive increase over the 115.3 million it carrier in 2013.  China Southern Airlines was third with 100.7 million, another significant increase over its 91.5 million figure in 2013.

Rounding out the top five were United Airlines, which ranked fourth with a total of 90.4 million passengers, and American Airlines, not including US Airways, which came in fifth with 87.8 million passengers.

Total worldwide passengers carried in 2014 was 3.3 billion, a year-over-year increase of 5.8%. The Asia-Pacific region saw the highest volume for the year, with a total of 1.1 billion passengers, or 33.3% of the total traffic, an 8% year-over-year increase of 8%.  Additionally, international traffic to, from, and within the region accounted for 42% of total international revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs.

The European and North American markets saw the second and third highest volume of passengers carried, respectively, with figures of 873.4 million, or 26.3% of the market, and 841.8 million, or 25.3%.

Star Alliance maintained its top rank as the largest airline alliance in the world in 2014, carrying 23.7% of total passenger traffic, as measured in revenue passenger kilometers, with SkyTeam in second place with 20.5% and oneworld in third with 18.3%.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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