US airlines clean sweep airline capacity rankings yet again

Maybe it comes as no surprise that America’s “big four” airlines have ranked amongst the best again but in 2021, any achievement is impressive. Despite the pandemic plaguing aviation industry, new data from OAG suggests that the American market is still booming.

Delta airplane with mountain background
Photo: BBC News / Getty

OAG data reveals that America’s four biggest airlines are also the largest in the world right now. Chinese airlines are not far behind with demand still high in east Asia. American Airlines took pole place with Delta, Southwest and United close behind. American Airlines offered just short of two million more seats this week than it’s Asian counterpart ANA. The table below shows America’s aviation dominance for the past month with only Delta surpassing American Airlines twice.

OAG graph showing largest airlines in world over January and February period
Graph displaying America’s clear dominance in the past month. Photo: OAG

While America’s big airlines have not been operated with the usual numbers you might see, they believe the demand is still there. After all, it’s more cost-effective, time-saving and generally less hassle to catch a plane between US cities. However, America can also claim that it has seen a small resurgence in holidaymakers travelling abroad despite the pandemic. Orlando to San Juan in Puerto Rico is currently the busiest international flight route in the world. With over 135,244 seats, the route surpasses a usually very busy route between Delhi and Dubai (129,683). The next busiest international route leaving the States is from New York to Santiago in the Dominican Republic. At 108,876 seats, it suggests Americans are eager to get back into their Caribbean holidaying ways.

Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport
Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport

Atlanta served as the base of America’s busiest routes according to OAG data. The Georgian giant saw 215,513 seats scheduled to Orlando, Florida, and 213,229 seats to Fort Lauderdale, also in Florida. Other popular routes include Denver to Phoenix, Arizona (190,723) and Denver to Las Vegas (177,145). Outside of the States, the busiest domestic route could be found in Asia, running between South Korea’s Jeju-International to Seoul-Gimpo (1,119,037).

While airlines around the world are facing their toughest few years in history, some airlines have fared better than others. However this is mere consolation as no airline has escaped the stranglehold Covid-19 has imposed on the industry. Let us know in a comment how you think trends will develop in the next few months! Will we see European airlines making an appearance in the top 10 during 2021?

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Jonathan Green
Jonathan Green
Contributing Reporter - Jonathan is a creative professional of international acclaim with a strong background in aviation journalism, fashion photography and travel writing. Jonathan writes about commercial aviation, travel and tourism, aerospace engineering, and sustainability. With extensive industry knowledge and connections, Jonathan works closely with tech start-ups and established global brands and agencies in Australia and worldwide.

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