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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
4. United Airlines – 92,795 Employees
Operating numerous routes across the globe, United is another vital player in the American aviation sector.
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.
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.
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.
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!