Southwest is now the World’s Largest Airline

Southwest is now the World’s Largest Airline

Southwest Airlines

With 2,401,224 seats available this week, Southwest has become the world’s largest airline by capacity, at least for now. To put things into perspective, American Airlines led the way in January with 4.8 million seats.

Two of China’s larger mainland airlines, China Southern and China Eastern climbed from 5th and 6th respectively to second and third, with Air China taking fifth place after American, which dropped three spots. Rounding out the top ten airlines as of June 15th are Delta, ANA, Wizz Air, Xiamen and Qatar.

Notably, whereas most airlines on the list are squeaking by with domestic operations, despite all odds, Qatar Airways has continued operating to an impressive number of international destinations, with plans to serve 80 destinations globally this month, in June 2020.

So what’s Southwest’s secret sauce? Other than sheer perseverance – avoiding borders and keeping it simple. Unlike many other legacy airlines, Southwest doesn’t have large sections of each plane dedicated to business or first class seating, which allows more seats on each flight. With business travel all but dead for the year, that’s a major advantage.

The airline never took on an abundance of international flying, and is most successful in areas of the United States where covid-19 was slow to arrive, or lock downs still don’t exist, serving many smaller hubs throughout the mid west and western United States.

Rank Airline Jan. 2020 Airline Jun 15, 2020
1 American        4,806,847 Southwest      2,401,224
2 Delta        4,532,316 China Southern      2,120,702
3 Southwest        3,788,421 China Eastern      1,891,216
4 United        3,537,983 American      1,667,930
5 China Southern        2,877,703 Air China      1,285,518
6 China Eastern        2,715,809 Delta      1,095,798
7 Ryanair        2,439,612 ANA      1,035,196
8 Air China        1,881,825 Wizz Air         822,721
9 LATAM        1,870,132 Xiamen         767,849
10 IndiGO        1,813,944 Qatar         714,643

Turks and Caicos is one of just fourteen international destinations that Southwest Airlines fly to.

HT: God Safe The Points

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