The COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive impact on the aviation industry in 2020. Living under prolonged lockdown with international and even domestic border closure, it almost feels like an illusion by now, that we used to travel everywhere in the world without any restrictions. This visual content is a throwback 2019 for those who are missing travelling on their favourite plane. It displays the world’s largest airlines by number of countries served, along with their fleets’ sizes and ages. Data on number of countries served are as of 2019, and data on number of fleet and age are as of 2021.
#1 Turkish Airlines (TK)
Situated at the crossroad of Asia and Europe, Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, flourished for many centuries in history. Today, its national flag carrier airline Turkish Airlines flies to the largest number of countries. 121 countries welcome the iconic tail with red-and-white wild goose. Their main fleet is Airbus’ single-aisle medium-range, Airbus 321, with 84 of them in service at the moment.
#2 Air France (AF)
Famous for their delicious haute cuisine with fresh bakery-style baguette, Air France has destinations in 91 countries. They cover all six inhabited continents, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America, except for Antarctica. They operate one of the rarest fleets, Airbus 318, with 17 in service and 1 parked. Their fleet is relatively old; the average age of their Airbus 321 is 18.9 years.
#3 British Airways (BA)
The third largest airline by countries served is the UK based British Airways. They serve 82 countries, also across all six continents. You might still remember the supersonic Concorde that British Airways used to fly, connecting London and New York in less than three hours. Needless to say, they no longer operate Concorde but they keep up the latest technology, operating the newest and greenest aircraft Airbus 350.
#4 Ethiopian Airlines (ET)
Africa’s leading airline, Ethiopian Airlines achieves the fourth largest number of countries served. They have expanded their network across 81 countries, celebrating 75 years of their excellent services in 2021. The aircraft has beautiful feather-like logo on its tail, coloured the same as the Ethiopian national flag. You can find Geʽez scripts as the Amharic language, their national language, on the rear body, which read “Ethiopia’s”.
#5 Emirates (EK)
The fifth comes the most multinational and multicultural airline, Emirates, based in Dubai. Known for their luxurious Airbus 380 that has shower spa and lounge, they serve for 78 countries with more than 150 destinations. Moreover, Emirates fleets are not only well-equipped; they are always young and new. They are entirely made up of Airbus 380 and Boeing 777, whose average age is less than 10 years.
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