DALLAS — According to IATA and ICAO data, there are more than 1000 airlines flying across the globe, but few of them fly to more than 100 destinations. Today we look at the passenger airlines that have achieved this milestone.
Before we dive into the list, some figures: If we divide all the airlines flying to more than 100 destinations by continent, we have Asia with 16, Europe with 15, North America with 10, South America with 3, Africa with 2, and Australia and Oceania with zero. For ease of calculation, we have included Russia as part of Asia.
We will share the most up-to-date information at the time of writing, as some destinations are seasonal and keep changing. Furthermore, we have excluded Cargo destinations from the majority of the listed carriers that operate dedicated cargo scheduled airlines. If you have more information, do let us know via our social media channels.
1) American Airlines (AA)
As of July 2022, major US carrier American Airlines (AA) flies to 350 destinations, including 269 domestic destinations and 81 international destinations in 50 countries.
2) United Airlines (UA)
As of August 1, 2021, another US-based airline, United Airlines (UA) operates 332 destinations, with domestic destinations reaching up to 238 and international destinations reaching 80.
3) Turkish Airlines (TK)
As of 2022, Turkish Airlines (TK), the flag carrier of Turkey, flies to 340 destinations, with 53 domestic and the remaining 287 international destinations across 123 countries. TK is the only airline in the world that operates in more than 100 countries.
4) Delta Air Lines (DL)
As of 2023, Delta Air Lines (DL), the United States’ largest carrier in terms of revenue generated, provides its customers with around 4,000 daily flights across 275 destinations in 50 countries.
5) Ryanair (FR)
As of April 2022, Irish low-cost airline, Ryanair flies year-round 229 destinations (subsidiaries) across 40 countries with over 2,500 daily flights. It has maximum routes in Europe while few are in Morrocco (North Africa), and to Israel & Jordan (Middle-East).
6) China Eastern Airlines (MU)
As of 2022, Chinese carrier, China Eastern Airlines (MU) serves its passengers across 220 destinations including 150 domestic and around 70 international across the globe.
7) Air Canada (AC)
As of January 2023, Canadian flag carrier Air Canada (AC), along with its regional partners, serves 222 destinations in 47 countries across six continents. AC alone flies to 190 destinations.
8) Lufthansa (LH)
As of January 2023, Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa (LH) flies to 218 destinations, including 17 domestic destinations and 201 international destinations across 73 countries.
9) China Southern Airlines (CZ)
Another Chinese carrier making it to the top 10 in our list, China Southern Airlines (CZ) serves its passengers across 209 destinations including 174 domestic and only 35 international destinations in 34 countries.
10) Air France (AF)
As of January 2023, the French flag carrier, Air France (AF), serves 203 destinations, including 24 domestic and 174 international destinations in 89 countries.
11) Air China (CA)
Another Chinese carrier, Air China (CA), and its subsidiaries serve its customers across 201 destinations worldwide. CA alone flies to 169 destinations including 133 domestic and 36 international destinations in 34 countries.
12) Wizz Air (W6)
Hungarian-based Wizz Air Holding plc has four subsidiaries in Hungary, the UK, Abu Dhabi, and most recently Malta, serving 194 destinations in 54 countries with around 930 routes.
Wizz Air Predicts a Robust Summer 2023.
13) British Airways (BA)
As of January 2023, the British flag carrier and London-based British Airways (BA) flies to 188 destinations, including seven domestic and 181 international destinations in 74 countries on six continents.
14) S7 Airlines (S7)
Russian-based carrier, S7 Airlines (S7) is named after the IATA S7 code and commenced initial operations as Siberian Airlines. S7 flies to 181 destinations, around 150 domestic and 26 international, in 26 countries.
Due to Russia invading Ukraine, IATA has suspended its membership. Also, many of its international routes have been terminated following the war.
15) KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL)
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL), World’s oldest operating carrier and flag barrier based in Amstelveen, Netherlands operates across 172 destinations including 92 European and 70 intercontinental destinations including KLM Cargo (KL) and KLM Cityhopper (WA) flight routes.
16) Air Arabia (G9)
Middle East carrier and Sharjah-based Air Arabia along with its subsidiary airlines as of 2023 serves 170 destinations across the middle east, North Africa, Asia, and Europe. While G9 individually flies across 77 destinations including two domestic and 75 international destinations in 30 countries.
17) Qatar Airways (QR)
Another Gulf-based carrier, Qatar Airways (QR), which operates through Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha, serves its passengers across 166 destinations as of 2022, with one domestic and the rest all international across 90+ countries.
18) Azul Brazilian Airlines (AD)
The Brazilian carrier based in Barueri, Azul Brazilian Airlines (AD), along with its regional subsidiary Azul Conecta (2F), operates 160 destinations, with 154 domestic and five international destinations in Portugal, the United States, and Uruguay.
19) EasyJet (U2)
The British multinational low-cost carrier, Easy Jet UK (U2), along with Europe (EC) and Switzerland (DS), serves 154 destinations, some of which are seasonal. The airlines combine to form a network of 981 routes across 35 countries.
20) Emirates (EK)
A well-known middle east carrier based at Dubai International Airport (DXB), Emirates (EK) flies to 152 destinations serving around 19 million passengers in 2021-22 with its all-wide-body aircraft fleet.
21) Air Asia (AK)
Air Asia (AK), a Malaysian multinational low-cost airline headquartered near Kuala Lumpur, flies to 147 destinations across Asia, primarily in Southeast Asia. The exception is Air Asia Cambodia, which is scheduled to begin operations in July 2023.
After the TATA Group’s takeover in 2022, we assumed that Air Asia India (I5) would become AIX Connect. Individually, AK serves 60 destinations in 17 countries.
22) Norwegian Air Shuttle (DY)
The Norwegian low-cost airline and Norway’s largest airline, Norwegian Air Shuttle (DY) along with its subsidiary Norwegian Air Sweden (D8) operate across 151 destinations including seasonal ones. Individually both DY and D8 operate on roughly similar destinations in around 34 countries.
23) LATAM Airlines Group
As of January 2023, Latin America’s largest carrier group, LATAM Airlines Group, flies to 148 destinations, including 18 domestic and 130 international destinations in 23 countries.
LATAM serves six domestic Latin American markets along with its international services in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, and the United States. The group has around six dedicated passenger airlines and three freight carriers.
24) Aeroflot (SU)
Russia’s flag carrier, Aeroflot (SU), along with its subsidiary, operated flights to 146 destinations in 52 countries before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 20, 2022. Following the invasion, the airline only serves 110 destinations, including seasonal cities, though some reports say it’s fewer than 100.
25) Vueling (VY)
Spanish LCC based at El Prat de Llobregat in Greater Barcelona, Vueling (VY) is the largest airline in Spain. It serves customers across 145 destinations some of which are seasonal destinations.
26) Aegean Airlines (A3)
The Greek flag carrier, Aegean Airlines (A3), and its domestic subsidiary, Olympic Air (OA), serve 138 destinations. We have excluded its other subsidiary, Animawings (A2), which usually operates charter services and flies across seasonal routes.
Individually, A3 serves 105 destinations with 12 domestic and 93 international in 44 countries as of Jan 2023.
27) Allegiant (G4)
As of December 2021, a US-based ultra-low-cost carrier, Allegiant (G4) serves its customers exclusively across 133 destinations in the United States of America. G4 operates mostly in smaller non-hub regional airports and all usually only a few times each week.
28) Finnair (AY)
The flag carrier of Finland, Finnair (AY), operates to over 130 destinations, including seasonal routes it flies with its subsidiaries and partner airlines. It individually operates across 80 destinations in Finland, Europe, Asia, and North America. AY is one of the oldest carriers in the world, having operated for 99 years.
Finnair Expands European Network for Summer 2023.
29) Austrian Airlines (OS)
The flag carrier of Austria and a subsidiary of Lufthansa (LH), Austrian Airlines (OS) operates across 130 destinations including seasonal routes and 40 destinations in Europe. With 360 flights in a day, OS operates in 46 countries across the globe.
30) Avianca (AV)
Colombia’s flag carrier, Avianca (AV), and its five subsidiaries fly passengers across 130 destinations in more than 24 countries. AV operates across 69 destinations, including 23 domestic and 46 international cities in 23 countries.
Avianca is the oldest airline in the western hemisphere.
31) Ethiopian Airlines (ET)
Ethiopia’s flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines (ET), operates flights from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD) to 127 destinations, including 22 domestic and 105 international, across five continents. ET serves more destinations in Africa than any other airline, at 62 destinations.
Apart from this, it operates on 58 dedicated cargo routes making it the largest cargo operator on the continent.
32) Pegasus Airlines (PC)
Turkish-based low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines (PC), along with its subsidiary carriers, operates to 125 destinations in 47 countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe.
33) Alaska Airlines (AS)
As of January 2023, the 90-year-old American carrier Alaska Airlines (AS), with its subsidiaries and partner airlines, operates across 123 destinations. With over 1200 daily flights, AS flies to 107 domestic destinations and 16 international destinations in five countries.
34) Scandinavian Airlines (SK) [SAS]
As of January 2023, the flag carrier of, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, Scandinavian Airlines (SK), popularly known as SAS, and its subsidiaries, operate across 122 destinations in 34 countries. If we talk about domestic cities, it flies to 34 destinations in three origin countries.
The carrier also operates SAS Connect (SL) based in Ireland individually operating across 30 destinations.
35) Southwest Airlines (WN)
The world’s largest low-cost carrier and major US-based airline, Southwest Airlines (WN) serves its customers across 121 destinations, including 106 domestic in 42 states and 15 international in 12 countries.
With 4,500 daily flights and 15 focused cities, WN has firmly cemented its operations across the US.
36) Korean Air (KE)
South Korea’s flag carrier, Korean Air (KE), along with its half a dozen subsidiaries, operates on 120 destinations, including 13 domestic and 107 international destinations in 42 countries.
37) Frontier (F9)
Another major US-based ultra-low-cost carrier, Frontier (F9), operates across 120 destinations, including seasonal ones mainly in the United States and the rest in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.
38) Swiss (LX)
The flag carrier of Switzerland, Swiss (LX), operates as of January 2023 across 115 destinations, including 2 domestic and 113 international destinations in around 50 countries on five continents.
39) Hainan Airlines (HU)
A Chinese carrier, Hainan Airlines (HU), along with its subsidiary, flies across 110 destinations, the majority in the Asia Pacific region. It operates in 78 domestic and 14 international markets on its own.
As of 2021, HU Combined with its subsidiaries has a dense network of more than 1,800 routes with 1,700 being spread across the Chinese territories.
40) Westjet (WS)
The second-largest Canadian carrier and low-cost airline, WestJet (WS), along with its two subsidiaries, WestJet Encore (WR) and WestJet Link, serve their customers in 109 destinations in 24 countries. We have excluded another low-cost swoop that flies to 25 destinations.
Individually WestJet (WS) flies across 63 destinations including 12 in Canada and rest 51 internationally.
41) JetBlue (B6)
Another US-based low-cost carrier, Jet Blue (B6), serves its customers across 108 destinations, including 67 domestic and 41 international destinations in 29 countries.
JetBlue operates throughout the United States, northern and central Latin America, the Caribbean, as well as Europe, with most of its services within the eastern United States.
42) Air India (AI)
India’s FSC and one of the oldest carriers in India, Air India (AI) operates across 103 destinations, including 58 domestic and 45 international cities in 31 countries.
While its three subsidiaries such as Air India Express (IX) operate to 32 destinations, Air Asia India (I5) [now AIX Connect] serves domestically on 18 destinations and Vistara (UK) operates across 44 destinations.
43) IndiGo Airlines (6E)
India’s largest LCC, Indigo Airlines (6E), as of January 2023, serves its passengers across 102 destinations, including 76 domestic and 26 international destinations within the extended vicinity of Asia.
With more than 1600 daily flights, it has acquired a whopping 56% of the Indian aviation market in terms of passengers flown.
Top 3 Airlines of India According to Passengers Flown
44) Royal Air Maroc (AT)
The Moroccan national carrier, Royal Air Maroc (AT), a wholly government-owned subsidiary along with RAM Express (FN), operates its flights to more than 100 destinations, including 70+ international destinations in 40+ countries.
45) Ural Airlines (U6)
Another Russian-based carrier, Ural Airlines (U6), part of SU, used to fly to 100 destinations before the Ukraine war.
After the invasion, U6 currently operates on 34 destinations including 28 domestic and six international destinations.
46) LOT Polish Airlines (LO)
The flag carrier of Poland, LOT Polish Airlines (LO), operates across 100 destinations with its network airline. The 94-year-old carrier serves 88 destinations in 50 countries across four continents, including 13 domestic and the remaining 75 international.
Missed by Margins
The 46-airline list missed a few carriers like China Airlines (CI), Lion Air (JT), and others that operate close to 100 destinations.
All Nippon Airways (NH), Japan’s major carrier, despite operating across 114 routes, did not make the list as the number includes cargo routes. Japan Airlines (JL), the country’s flag carrier, operates across 90 destinations. Finally, Australia’s flag carrier, Qantas Airways (QF), missed being on the list by four destinations.
To sum up, there are over 1000 active airlines, yet fewer than 50 fly their passengers to more than 100 destinations. Stay tuned for a similar post on cargo operations across the globe.
Do you think Asian carriers will continue to dominate the list, or will Europe’s well-developed airlines beat them in the future? Do Let Us Know on Our Social Media Channels.
Feature Image: American Airlines N836AA Boeing 787-9. Photo: Luca Flores/Airways