First published: June 2022
Airlines wear their network like a badge of honour! “We fly to x-number around the world” is a call out in ads, on websites, and inside inflight magazine as reason why you should choose to fly them. It’s true – there is great appeal to flying with the airline that serves the most destinations so you can go direct, but which airline services the most destinations?
United Airlines continues to retain the crown as the airline that flies to the largest number of destinations in the world. But how do they do it? One way is by serving niche markets, like Tenerife (one of Spain’s Canary Islands), Pona Delgada (in Portugal’s archipelago of the Azores), and Palma de Mallorca – all new destinations for the airline this year.
While the airline hasn’t recovered to its own pre-pandemic figures, United is pulling ahead in this ranking, according to digital flight information website OAG’s analysis of IATA summer season data. The airline currently services 329 destinations (down from 389 destinations pre-COVID), surpassing American Airlines which flies to 326 destinations (down from 364 airports pre-COVID).
To compile the list of airlines that fly to the most destinations, we used scheduled flight data that covers the summer season (specifically March 27 to October 29), which has been provided by OAG — one of the industry’s primary sources of aviation industry data.
This list is subject to change because counting destinations is a tricky business! Not only can airline networks be subject to change at short notice (look at many airlines boycott of flying to Russia or unable to fly to Ukraine), but this can give us an intersting snapshot into which airlines services the most destinations as we move towards COVID recovery.
Which airline services the most destinations?
|Airlines||Destinations (as of April ’19)|
|Delta Air Lines||262|
|China Southern Airlines||156|
|KLM-Royal Dutch Airways||155|
|China Eastern Airlines||144|
Source: OAG as of April 19, 2022.
Now it’s over to you: