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World's Biggest Airlines Quiz

Name the world's biggest airlines, by number of passengers carried.
According to Wiki. For the year 2017, or the most recent year that data was available
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: September 10, 2018
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First submittedFebruary 20, 2012
Times taken70,970
Average score46.4%
Rating4.19
5:00
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Passengers
Continent
Airline
200 m
North America
American Airlines
186 m
North America
Delta
158 m
North America
Southwest
148 m
North America
United
130 m
Europe
Lufthansa
129 m
Europe
Ryanair
126 m
Asia
China Southern
110 m
Asia
China Eastern
105 m
Europe
British Airways-Iberia
101 m
Asia
Air China
99 m
Europe
Air France-KLM
82 m
Europe
EasyJet
72 m
Asia
Hainan Airlines
69 m
Asia
Turkish
Passengers
Continent
Airline
67 m
South America
LATAM
63 m
Asia
Air Asia
59 m
Asia
Emirates
53 m
Asia
Lion Air
50 m
Europe
Aeroflot
49 m
Asia
All Nippon
49 m
Asia
IndiGo
49 m
Oceania
Qantas
48 m
North America
Air Canada
44 m
North America
Alaska
42 m
Asia
Japan Airlines
40 m
North America
JetBlue
36 m
Asia
Garuda Indonesia
35 m
Asia
Cathay Pacific
+5
Level 37
Feb 20, 2012
Great experience on Air Canada, bad experience on British Airways...not fun
+8
Level 84
Aug 10, 2014
Though I would never accuse British Airways of being anything like "fun," stereotypes definitely apply, I've had mostly positive experiences with the airline and Heathrow/London isn't a terrible place to have a layover.
+2
Level 47
Aug 10, 2014
T5 is a great place to transfer at
+2
Level 84
Aug 10, 2014
best airlines to fly with IMO in my somewhat limited experience include Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad, Korean Air.... and maybe British Airways at the bottom of that list. Qatar is okay but very overrated imho. I also use Cebu Pacific and Southwest a lot, they're fine and their prices make up for whatever they lack in amenities. Plus Cebu has access to the best terminal in Manila. but I wouldn't use them for a very long flight. Worst is probably a tie between Philippine Airlines, Ethiopian, and Nas.
+2
Level 67
Nov 25, 2014
Singapore, Korean, and Air Canada are all great! United has become a joke and Varig (not listed, Brazil) is the worst airline I've ever flown.
+3
Level 74
Jan 8, 2016
I'd have Singapore, Cathay, Emirates and Etihad at the top; Qantas, KLM, Lufthansa, Finnair, Virgin a half star rating less, and unfortunately BA and United not much better than the "budget" carriers
+3
Level 71
Jun 19, 2016
Best to fly with ......around the world are Qantas followed by British Airways then Cathay Pacific and Singapore ..... In USA Delta.
+1
Level 79
Jul 11, 2018
The most fun stuert I ever had was a British Airways one over 20 years ago. He made the safety briefing more interesting than the usual snooze and he gave us (two 16-yr olds) mini bottles of Johnny Walker.
+3
Level 76
Oct 1, 2018
Kal, I hope your were joking when you called your experiences "somewhat limited". I've flown American, United, and Northwest. That is truly limited. I had no problems on any of those except for my infernal air sickness and I don't think I can blame that on the airlines.
+1
Level 84
Aug 3, 2019
ander: while I know my travels are much more extensive than the average person's... there are still quite a few airlines in the world I have never used before or used only once or twice. I don't want to presume to know based on this what the best airlines are.
+1
Level 64
Jan 12, 2023
I think Swiss deserves a mention in the list of truly great airlines. Haven't flown on too many airlines, and none outside Europe yet (apart from two short flights on South African Airlink), but Swiss is éásily the best airline I've flown on. KLM can be decent too, but it varies. Staff tends to be very nice though.
+4
Level 85
May 29, 2017
You're not Canadian, are you?

I don't know if I've ever heard a Canadian describe a "Great Experience" on Air Canada. We all avoid it like the plague and take West Jet or Porter instead.

+7
Level 20
Sep 14, 2017
I'm Canadian, and I think Air Canada is great...
+1
Level 67
Mar 2, 2022
Their domestic flights aren't anything special, but Air Canada's international service is pretty good.
+1
Level 31
Feb 20, 2012
Where did these stats come from?
+2
Level ∞
Feb 20, 2012
Wikipedia, where else? :)
+1
Level 57
Apr 13, 2013
true but wikipedia may not always be trustworthy
+7
Level ∞
Jul 27, 2014
Do you have a better source @allure11606? Nothing is always trustworthy. Wikipedia has the advantage of being thoroughly vetted, unlike the majority of books, magazines, and newspaper articles.
+2
Level 63
Aug 11, 2016
That's why you check the source Wikipedia links you to.
+1
Level 64
Nov 1, 2017
Who do you think would edit a wikipedia article? A person who has done research or has a professional source, or a random person who said "Hmmmm?!?!? I'll just make up some numbers!!"
+2
Level 50
Jun 19, 2018
Well, it's true that wikipedia isn't always accurate, but for statistics like these I can't really see why it wouldn't be.
+10
Level 90
Jan 16, 2019
As part of a research experiment a few years back, I inserted made-up numbers to about 200 wikipedia articles. The first was corrected within about 3 minutes, most (~82%) had been corrected within two weeks, but 2 are still there (they're like my pets. I check on them regularly.) Additionally 8 of the 11 accounts I created to make the additions were banned from ever editing things again.
+2
Level 55
Sep 17, 2020
You're absolutely right @plattitude. I just once changed a grammar mistake (which I should not have since it was grammatically correct, but I didn't know) and then I reloaded the page. The change was still there, but I reloaded a second time after ~1.5 minutes, and it was reverted back to the original. Wikipedia has incredible quality control and there are many people working to make Wikipedia as accurate as it could be :)
+2
Level 90
Oct 26, 2020
@Pandora49, exactly. What surprised me the most were which articles were corrected the fastest. I expected that pages with a high view rate would get corrected quickly--and they did, almost all between 6 hours and 5 days after the erroneous addition. What surprised me was the ones that were corrected the quickest were deeply technical articles about nuclear science, quantum mechanics, and abstract mathematics that our analytics said were accessed by fewer than 3 unique viewers per week. These were especially sad, because I'd put in multiple days worth of effort to make them seem plausible, and they were gone within the hour. One even sparked a fairly lengthy discussion on why it was wrong, though it appeared correct at first glance.
+1
Level 91
Jan 11, 2023
The problem with wikipedia is not people maliciously changing it, but relying on a site like this they don't know relies on wikipedia and creating a circular reinforcement with no source. Then even if no one tampers with the page the data can go out of date but none of the sites in the loop update. May I suggest going by number of flights from Flightfrom: https://www.flightsfrom.com/top-100-airlines or a smaller list from statista (sourced) from 2020 https://www.statista.com/statistics/269617/top-10-airlines-worldwide-by-number-of-passengers/
+1
Level 36
Dec 25, 2012
12.
+1
Level 84
Oct 5, 2016
Same here. :-(
+1
Level 68
Aug 10, 2014
Southern China ≠ China Southern. Too bad.
+1
Level 20
Aug 25, 2014
22!!! Yes!! I haven't really had international experience so I cant speak for much but I think my favorite would have to be southwest.
+6
Level 45
Aug 27, 2014
Surprised Singapore Airlines isn't in there...I really thought they were huge.
+3
Level 84
Aug 23, 2016
Great airline and hands down the best airport in the world. They should have more traffic than they do.
+2
Level 84
Feb 11, 2015
Can't believe I forgot Southwest. That's like my only airline.
+2
Level 47
Jan 16, 2016
British airways qantas and turkish airlines are probably the best airlines anyway if they get u there safely u should like them they could crash.dont complain the plane ride isn't a vacation it is how u get there. it shouldn't effect ur trip! all plane food may be bad but at least you get food! some people would give anything for food. airlines never get praise and they do a vital job that keeps you safe maybe instead of complaining we should thank them or write them a note like i do instead of complaining!! they really appreciate it!!
+2
Level 83
Jul 20, 2016
Cathay, Qantas, Emirates and Singapore have probably been my personal best experiences, although I'm not one of these people to endlessly whinge about airlines. I've flown Ryanair and AirAsia and they got me where I was going just fine. Recently flew LAN (LATAM) for the first time on the marathon Sydney-Santiago route and once we got off the tarmac after a two hour wait (during which I had plenty of Game of Thrones to catch up on), that went just fine too. Hell, I even give points to Lao Airlines (they got me to Hanoi without killing me, so that's a plus).
+5
Level 84
Aug 23, 2016
RyanAir are just downright duplicitous, inventing new ways to try and steal money from their passengers all the time.
+3
Level 36
Aug 23, 2016
Every Ryanair flight is a disaster, the 'low fare' airline comes with thousands of ways to rip you off with extra things they make you purchase. British airways has always been good for me and Heathrow T5 is a great airport.
+6
Level 84
Aug 23, 2016
Some things for low-cost airlines I can understand. Not providing free meals or entertainment, okay, that's fine. That shouldn't necessarily be mandatory. Charging a modest fee for checked bags, that's reasonable if the ticket themselves are so much cheaper. But, one especially heinous and evil and obviously underhanded thing they are doing lately is they *require* that you check in online and print out boarding passes prior to arrival at the airport. *and* you must do it hours before. Since no other airline requires such an asinine thing, of course many people are caught off guard by this, and are forced to pay the 45 pound penalty at the airport (often on tickets that cost 20 or 30 pounds) or miss their flight. It's downright theft.
+6
Level 79
Jul 11, 2018
Why would you even print out boarding passes anymore? An electronic image should be enough. Even two years ago when you made your comment.
+1
Level 81
Jul 18, 2018
In Europe it's quite far from "no other airline".
+1
Level 84
Sep 30, 2018
^ they might be following the asinine standard set by RyanAir, then. I never had anyone else tell me that I HAD to have a printed ticket... not since I was flying through Taiwan over 10 years ago... and then that online check-in closed FOUR HOURS before the flight. Why? WHY?? Did the computer go on break? Does it take 3 hours for the electronic message moving at the speed of light from their server to get to the check-in counter? Bandits.
+1
Level 74
Oct 2, 2018
I remember when Ryanair tried charging a pound to use the toilet
+1
Level 83
Feb 28, 2020
My daughter was charged 20 pounds for not having printed her own boarding pass. Since North American airlines don't require it, she was quite surprised. The clerk admitted that it was a rip off and generally affected North American tourists. Baltic air also required a self check and printed pass but the clerk in Gdansk did it for me 30 min before the flight -- he though the requirement was ridiculous. European discount airlines continually invent new surcharges and sometimes a national airline like KLM is a better idea.
+1
Level 39
Oct 10, 2021
Ryanair never tried to charge a fee for using the toilets. The boss, Michael O'Leary suggested it as a joke and a publicity stunt.
+1
Level 84
Nov 14, 2022
^ the same jovial chap who called people who fly his airline idiots and his mistreated employees whiners.
+1
Level 68
Aug 23, 2016
Turkish Airlines's main base/hub is in Europe, not in Asia.
+1
Level 59
Oct 20, 2016
How does Alaska have more passengers than Frontier? Frontier seems pretty big...
+1
Level 65
May 15, 2017
There's an airline called 'SAS'?! Sounds potentially brutal.
+1
Level 71
May 21, 2017
I guess United will lose its 4th place in the future :D
+6
Level 34
Sep 17, 2017
Ryanair are the worst i have ever flown with. Best budget airline in europe is Easyjet. Best overall is British Airways i boarded sober , got off drunk and iot never cost me a penny in drinks, they were all free and i flew peasant class.
+1
Level 71
Sep 15, 2018
EasyJet is great for people with small money and small bags. If you don‘t want to eat something, you don‘t have to! Great airline!
+1
Level 46
Nov 14, 2022
British is clearly below Lufthansa and Air France tho.
+1
Level 46
Oct 10, 2017
has this been updated for 2017?
+2
Level 37
Nov 1, 2017
Flying with Emirates for almost 20 years....simply awesome. And with 100 A380s....they are simply awesome.
+1
Level 64
Nov 1, 2017
Personally I'm a fan of Swiss Air!
+1
Level 71
Sep 15, 2018
Hahahahaha that airline doesn‘t even exist since 2002! You must mean SWISS, otherwise you don‘t fly very often
+2
Level 84
Mar 17, 2018
Funny how many more people got Japan Airlines than ANA, which I think shows that most people are just typing in the names of countries and hoping for the best.
+1
Level 83
Jul 11, 2018
JAL (and KAL) used to advertise a lot in the US - particularly travel related publications.
+2
Level 71
Sep 15, 2018
Tbh, I knew that some airline is called Nippon, just entered Nippon Airways, that one should be accepted
+5
Level 46
Jun 20, 2018
Surprised not to see Singapore in there. So many of their planes pass over London en route to/from Heathrow. Also the best customer service of any airline I've ever flown with - and Changi airport is just fantastic!
+1
Level 67
Jul 11, 2018
Would be nice if some of the answers we're the full airline even if the type-ins remain the same. For instance, Delta should be Delta Air Lines, United = United Airlines, LATAM = LATAM Airlines, All Nippon = All Nippon Airways, Alaska = Alaska Airlines, Turkish = Turkish Airlines, Southwest = Southwest Airlines, China Southern = China Southern Airlines

Just for consistencies sake :)

+1
Level 55
Mar 23, 2020
Wow, Lufthansa has a LOT!
+1
Level 49
Jan 10, 2022
There’s a China Southern and Eastern? Dayum
+1
Level 84
Jan 27, 2022
On Wikipedia it looks like Cebu Pacific recently overtook Cathay Pacific for the 21st spot among Asian airlines.
+1
Level 72
Jan 27, 2022
Lots of hate for some of these in the comments... I've flown quite a lot with different kinds of airlines (including Ryanair) and different kinds of journeys. I can honestly say that I've never had a flight that I didn't enjoy!
+1
Level 84
May 30, 2022
You've been very lucky, then, either in having unusually positive experiences, or that airport security didn't find your stash of amphetamine.