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MARK STACHIEW Updated: February 28, 2020
There are hundreds of airlines operating around the world, but in recent times, the number has been falling as larger airlines swallow smaller ones in the name of economic efficiency.
The result is that some giant airlines have emerged from these mergers and acquisitions that fly to a dizzying number of destinations. If you’re a frequent flier with some of these outfits, your points will give you access to a vast network of places to fly to.
Airlines are always adding and dropping routes, whether it be for seasonal reasons, to compete against a rival airline or because they see a business opportunity to connect two cities that are under-serviced.
Ever wonder which airlines fly to the most destinations? Here are the top 10 airlines that fly to the most places, but keep in mind that this ranking is not set in stone as routes are added and deleted all of the time.
1. American Airlines – 364 destinations
By every measurement, American Airlines is the world’s largest airline. It has the biggest airplane fleet, carries the most passengers and flies to the most destinations at 364 with 126 of those being to international airports in 64 different countries. It is also one of the founding members of the Oneworld airline alliance.
2. United Airlines – 362 destinations
One of the world’s largest airlines and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, United flies to 362 different destinations in 65 countries on six continents. Like most airlines in the United States, United uses a hub and spoke network with its main hub being in Chicago and the majority of its routes (235) are to domestic destinations through regional airlines that fly under the United Express banner.
3. Delta Airlines – 326 destinations
With its main hub being in Atlanta, Delta isn’t far behind its competitors American and United with its 326 routes that include 99 international flight paths that connect the U.S. to 57 different countries. And like its competitors, Delta has an airline alliance of its own known as SkyTeam.
4. Turkish Airlines – 290 destinations
With Istanbul being a city that famously straddles Europe and Asia and being located not that far from Africa, it’s no wonder that Turkish Airlines is the airline that serves more countries than any other in the world. Of the 290 destinations it serves, 240 of them are international and they connect Turkey to 121 different countries.
5. China Eastern Airlines – 241 destinations
As China’s economic power has expanded, so have its airlines. China Eastern Airlines is not the country’s largest airline by number of passengers carried, but this SkyTeam member airline flies to more destinations than any other Chinese airline with the vast number of them being to Asian cities.
6. China Southern Airlines – 237 destinations
Asia’s largest airline by fleet size and passengers carried connects China to 237 different destinations, with 81 of those being international locales in 45 different countries.
7. British Airways – 234 destinations
The sun never set on the British Empire and that once-upon-a-time empire, and places beyond, are well served by the United Kingdom’s national flag carrier with its 221 international destinations in 93 different countries, second only to Turkish Airlines in the most countries served.
8. Ryanair – 231 destinations
The world’s most famous low-cost airline has revolutionized how people travel by offering dirt-cheap passage to cities throughout Europe. With only five routes in its home-base of Ireland, the rest of its network connects every corner of the continent to each other.
9. Lufthansa – 229 destinations
Germans are famous travellers so it’s no wonder that Lufthansa connects them to so many far-flung destinations. Of the 229 destinations it serves, a whopping 210 of them are international and they are located in 78 different countries.
10. Air Canada – 215 destinations
Canada’s national carrier is one of the world’s most connected airlines with 153 of its 215 destinations being located in 64 different countries. Love it or hate it, there’s no other Canadian airline that serves as many places.
* UPS Airlines – 807 destinations
It’s not a passenger airline, but for completeness, the UPS cargo carrier has a network that dwarfs that of any other airline with 406 of its 807 destinations being outside of the United States. Last year, it delivered 5.5 billion packages and documents to those destinations.