Emirates airline ranks among world’s top five airlines

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Emirates Image - A380 - Air to air

Staff Report

Airlines in the Middle East region recorded a four per cent jump in passengers carried in 2018, with Emirates retaining its position among the world’s top five airlines, ranked by total scheduled passenger kilometers flown last year, according to data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Globally, airlines carried 4.4 billion passengers on scheduled services, an increase of 6.9 per cent over 2017, representing an additional 284 million trips by air, while carriers in the Middle East accounted for 5.1 per cent of global air passenger market share at 224.2 million passengers, IATA’s World Air Transport Statistics showed.

“Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before. The freedom to fly is more accessible than ever. And our world is a more prosperous place as a result. As with any human activity, this comes with an environmental cost that airlines are committed to reducing,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

He said that from 2020, IATA would cap net carbon emissions growth. “And, by 2050, we will cut our net carbon footprint to half 2005 levels. This ambitious climate action goal needs government support. It is critical for sustainable aviation fuels, new technology and more efficient routes to deliver the greener future we are aiming for,” said de Juniac.

The world’s top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passenger kilometers flown included American Airlines (330.6 billion); Delta Air Lines (330 billion); United Airlines (329.6 billion); Emirates (302.3 billion), and Southwest Airlines (214.6 billion).

Dubai-based, Emirates, also finds a spot among the top five airlines ranked globally by scheduled freight tonne kilometers flown. Federal Express (17.5 billion) took the lead, followed by Emirates (12.7 billion), followed by United Parcel Service (12.5 billion), Cathay Pacific Airways (11.3 billion) and Southwest Airlines (214.6 billion).

There are 22,000 city pairs now connected by direct flights, up 1,300 over 2017 and double the 10,250 city pairs connected in 1998. Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region once again carried the largest number of passengers systemwide. The top five international/regional passenger airport-pairs were all within the Asia-Pacific region again this year, according to Iata.

These include Hong Kong – Taipei Taoyuan (5.4 million), Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Hong Kong (3.4 million), Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta – Singapore Changi (3.2 million). Seoul-Incheon – Osaka-Kansai (2.9 million), and Kuala Lumpur-International – Singapore Changi (2.8 million)

Iata data shows that the real cost of air transport has more than halved over the last 20 years (to around 78 US cents per revenue tonne-kilometer, or RTK). The development of the low-cost carrier (LCC) segment continues to outpace that of network carriers. Measured in ASKs (available seat kilometers), LCC capacity grew by 13.4 per cent, almost doubling the overall industry growth rate of 6.9 per cent. LCCs accounted for 21 per cent of global capacity) in 2018, up from 11 per cent in 2004.

In terms of available seats, the global share of LCCs in 2018 was 29 per cent, reflecting the short-haul nature of their business model. This is up from 16 per cent in 2004. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com