biggest ?

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14 years

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would anybody happen to know who the biggest airline is and how many aircraft they own? operate ? i only ask as i was watching a prog on discovery which stated that a us parcel company owned 700 plus aircraft making it the 3rd biggest "airline" in the world, many thanks for any help chaps merry xmas to all
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Profile picture for user SOFTLAD

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19 years 9 months

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It was Aeroflot by a long way until the country started splitting up. I think i read at one stage they had over 7000 aircraft. Guess now it will be American Airlines but don't know how many aircraft they operate. Sure that one of are members will know.
Profile picture for user PMN

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The biggest is American Airlines. An old thread on A.Net says they have 720 aircraft. Hope that helps! Paul
Profile picture for user A225HVY

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Top 20 listed below 1American Airlines 2Delta Airlines 3Southwest Airlines 4United Airlines 5Air France-KLM result of a merge of these two airlines in 2004 6Japan Airlines 7Northwest Airlines 8Lufthansa 9All Nippon Airways 10US Airways 11Continental Airlines 12British Airways 13Qantas 14Iberia 15easyjet 16Korean Air 17Ryanair 18America West Airlines 19Air Canada 20Scandinavian Airlines As noted from http://airtravel.about.com/od/airlines/a/bigair.htm A225HVY :D
Profile picture for user bring_it_on

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wow 5 of the top 10 and 7 of the top 20 are US...maybe thats why they'r all broke..

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many thanks for your help guys
Profile picture for user Whiskey Delta

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wow 5 of the top 10 and 7 of the top 20 are US...maybe thats why they'r all broke..
What logic can possibly be behind this statement?
475 according to this site ? http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/nameSQL.asp?nametxt=american+airlines&sort_option=5&page=1
It doesn't seem that this list is very accurate given the aircraft listed on there. Just on the first page alone they show their Fokkers which have been gone for a while. My personal favorites on that list are the Vultee V-1A, Lockheed Orion 9D, Stinson A, Douglas DC2 and Curtiss-Wright T-32-C Condor II. :) Unless I've just missed these in DFW I believe quite a number of the aircraft on the list are long retired. Not that I wouldn't mind seeing a few DC2's around. :D
Profile picture for user EGNM

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This doesn't include the major freight carriers - UPS and FEDEX both have large fleets - much larger than SAS I'd say!

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What logic can possibly be behind this statement?
It might be argued that the US airlines are flying more people than they can afford to... Well, we have seen comments on biggest airline by fleet, by passengers flown and by passenger-miles flown - what about airlines by the total fare for tickets sold?
It doesn't seem that this list is very accurate given the aircraft listed on there. Just on the first page alone they show their Fokkers which have been gone for a while. My personal favorites on that list are the Vultee V-1A, Lockheed Orion 9D, Stinson A, Douglas DC2 and Curtiss-Wright T-32-C Condor II. :) Unless I've just missed these in DFW I believe quite a number of the aircraft on the list are long retired. Not that I wouldn't mind seeing a few DC2's around. :D
Why do aircraft owners want to deregister retired planes? Also, are preserved heritage planes registered under the original numbers?
Profile picture for user Whiskey Delta

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It might be argued that the US airlines are flying more people than they can afford to...
Flying more people than they can afford to? That's about the most illogical statement I can think of regarding airlines. One would think that an airline "flying not enough people" would be an issue but not too many people. The issue is there is too many seats flying around even if there are enough folks to fill all those seats. The purchasing power is in the hands of the consumer and not in control of the airlines. As soon as supply (of available seats) drops enough the airlines will have the power to raise ticket prices. Would a fleet reduction by AA do anything to remedy this situation? Not for the AA woes. If AA reduced it's fleet significantly there could be a enough of a drop in Available seats to put the cost control back into the hands of the airlines. If that did happen where would more of that advantage go? AA's competitors would come out ahead since AA reduced it's own fleet while others retained theirs and now they would reap the benefits of less flying seats. The problem is that the entry cost for new airlines is WAY TOO LOW. Find some financial backing, a few airplanes and you have an airline. Meanwhile the operating cost of that new airline (as well as the addition of available seats) only hurts the rest of the industry. A Legacy carrier can't compete with the low labor costs of a new airline (everyone's on new employee pay) and the addition of more seats into the market drives down the value of the Legacy carrier's own seats. New carriers are very sensitive to swings in the economy and fuel costs. So these new guys come in and do their damage to the airline marketplace then end up folding in a few years anyway because they never got enough market share to weather rising fuel costs or a downturn in the economy. After they're gone the remaining carriers easily suck up the business but are now suffering financially as a result of their competing against the new guy. Notices were given 2 days ago to the Independance Airlines employees that they'll be out of business in a month or so. A few months ago Transmeridian Airlines folded. Earlier in the year Southeastern airlines disappeared overnight not to mention the disappearance of Pan Am III again. ATA will be barely a memory shortly which also resulted in Chicago Express shutting down. Meanwhile we've seen the arrival JetBlue and talks of Virgin starting an airline in the US. The government needs to stop permitting any guy with a few million in the financial backing and a couple airliners from starting a new company.
Why do aircraft owners want to deregister retired planes?
If it's not airworthy then why would it be registered?
Also, are preserved heritage planes registered under the original numbers?
I know warbirds and the like have "new" registration numbers. I'm sure if a heritage airplanes registration complied with current standards (N-xxxx for the US) then it would be retained, if not, then a new one would be issued.
Profile picture for user zoot horn rollo

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Back in 2002 (the last time I edited the IATA publication 'World Air Transport Statistics') American Airlines reported a total fleet of 712 aircraft while FedEx reported 634. Delta were third.
Profile picture for user EGNM

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If it's not airworthy then why would it be registered?
If it's not airworthy and not registered you cannot rob the spares from it. Some airlines park up aircraft from service, then rob them of useful spares to support the remainder of the fleet, but to do this and keep track of the parts they must remain registered, albiet not nessecerily as airworthy (for insurance purposes). This is particularly done by companies operating older generation aircraft where spares sometimes have to be manifactured individually as their production has ceised. Hope the above makes sense to you!