The Top 10 Airlines Ranked by the Number of Employees
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The Top 10 Airlines Ranked by the Number of Employees

Author: Mary Impastato
Date Posted: August 15, 2023 Read time: 3 min

Based on the 2023 Allianz Partners Big Book of Travel Data by IdeaWorks, here are the top 10 airlines.

Airlines do more than just move people across borders. They connect economies, enable businesses to flourish, boost tourism and support countless other sectors indirectly. The sheer number of employees in the aviation sector is a testament to its vital role in the global economy. Every flight taken supports jobs, fuels growth and underscores the importance of a connected world.

Based on the 2023 Allianz Partners Big Book of Travel Data by IdeaWorks, here are the top 10 airlines, ranked in descending order by their number of employees at the end of 2022:

10. Emirates Group – 44,733 employees

From Dubai’s shimmering skyline, Emirates operates as a bridge between East and West, employing tens of thousands in the process.

10. Emirates Group - 44,733 employees

9. International Airlines Group (IAG) – 59,505 employees

As the parent company of several major airlines like British Airways and Iberia, IAG has an impressive workforce managing extensive networks.

9. International Airlines Group (IAG) - 59,505 employees
Photo by: Aaron Davis | Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

8. Southwest Airlines – 66,656 employees

A household name in the U.S., Southwest’s friendly service and vast domestic network are backed by a substantial workforce.

8. Southwest Airlines - 66,656 employees
Photo by: Tomás Del Coro | ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

7. Air France-KLM Group – 74,602 employees

A key player in the European aviation sector, the combined strength of Air France and KLM ensures a dominant presence in the skies.

7. Air France-KLM Group - 74,602 employees

6. China Eastern Airlines – 80,193 employees

Enhancing connectivity both within and outside Asia, China Eastern plays a pivotal role in the global aviation scene.

6. China Eastern Airlines - 80,193 employees
Photo by: byeangel | ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

5. Air China – 87,190 employees

As China’s aviation industry soars, Air China stands as a testament to the country’s growing global connectivity.

5. Air China - 87,190 employees
Photo by: byeangel | ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

4. United Airlines – 92,795 employees

Operating numerous routes across the globe, United is another vital player in the American aviation sector.

4. United Airlines - 92,795 employees
Photo by: byeangel | ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

3. Delta Air Lines- 95,000 employees

As one of the dominant airlines in the U.S., Delta’s large workforce underscores its extensive operations and the significant role it plays in North America’s travel landscape.

3. Delta Air Lines- 95,000 employees
Photo by: Tomás Del Coro | ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

2. China Southern Airlines – 97,899 employees

Operating from the buzzing Asian market, China Southern has been rapidly expanding its footprint, which is reflected in its employee strength.

2. China Southern Airlines - 97,899 employees
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1. American Airlines – 129,700 employees

Leading the pack is American Airlines. With a workforce the size of a small city, they make a significant contribution to the industry and have a vast network that serves millions of passengers each year.

1. American Airlines - 129,700 employees

The next time you fly, remember that you’re not just traveling. You’re part of a vast, intricate system that plays a vital role in keeping the world’s economy airborne. Safe travels!

All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor. By clicking the link(s) above, you will be directed to a third-party website(s). U.S. Global Investors does not endorse all information supplied by this/these website(s) and is not responsible for its/their content.

Holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. The following securities mentioned in the article were held by one or more accounts managed by U.S. Global Investors as of (06/30/2023): Southwest Airlines Co., Air France-KLM, Air China Ltd., United Airlines Holdings Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., American Airlines Group Inc.