For the world’s airlines, the winter 2018/19 (W18/19) season in the northern hemisphere starts this Sunday, Oct. 28 and runs through to March 30, 2019. An early analysis by anna.aero, a site that analyzes global airline traffic, indicates that:
—American Airlines will operate from the most airports;
—Turkish Airlines will serve the most countries; and
—Ryanair will offer the most tours.
Anna.aero points out that the same three carriers topped the same three charts last February when it previewed the summer season for 2018 (S18), which runs from the end of March until the end of October. The research company based its analyses on global schedule data for a typical week in January 2019. The main findings of the anna.aero analyses of scheduled flight information are show in the charts that follow.
- American Leads Big 3 U.S. Carriers, which Lead All Airlines Worldwide in Airports Served: In a ranking which suggests that U.S. airlines are well-positioned to serve inbound flights that will connect to second- and third-tier destinations, the big three U.S. carriers (American, Delta and United) are at the top of the rankings for most airports served in a typical week during W18/19, occupying exactly the same positions they did in the equivalent period last year. A large percentage of the airports these American majors fly to are domestic facilities in the US, and some will only see flights from their regional subsidiary or partner carriers. More than two thirds of the airports served by each of the USB3 airlines are located in their home market. Delta has the biggest proportion of US airports in its schedule, with domestic facilities accounting for 70% of the nodes in its network during the week that was analyzed.
According to anna.aero, the vast majority of the top 15 airlines, based on airports served, have increased the number of destinations in their networks since last winter. In total, 13 of these operators have added more airports for W18/19. The biggest increases have come from Aeroflot (18 more airports), China Southern Airlines and Qatar Airways (both up 11). The only top-ranked carriers to reduce the number of destinations this winter are Delta (four fewer airports) and British Airways (one less).
- Turkish Airlines Serves Most Destinations, while Middle East Carriers Have Expanded: The carrier once again tops the table below as the airline serving the most country markets. It will fly to 30 more countries than second place Air France, maintaining the same lead it enjoyed over the French flag carrier in W17/18. Both carriers have increased their winter country counts by three. Turkish Airlines has added Gambia, Sierra Leone and Zambia to its network. The top three carriers offering the most country markets and five of the top 15, are based in Europe (highlighted in blue). The other airlines marking up the top 15 include all members of the Big 3 carriers in the Middle East (highlighted in orange) and four major North American network carriers (highlighted in red).
- Ryanair Stays on Top in Number of Routes Served: The ultra low-cost Irish carrier Ryanair will serve more routes than any other airline during the week analyzed by anna.aero. It also led this category during the equivalent period in W17/18. In doing so, Ryanair has increased its winter route inventory by 11 percent and will offer 360 more airport-pairs than second-placed American Airlines. Five of the 15 airlines offering the most routes this winter are based in Europe (highlighted in blue in the table below), with a further five registered in North America (highlighted in red). The remaining third (highlighted in green) include four Chinese operators and one from South America.