The busiest airlines in the world revealed: American Airlines flies the most closely followed by Delta and United

The world’s busiest airlines have been revealed – and it is American carriers that fly the most.

New figures show that American Airlines were ranked top of a list of busiest airlines after flying 324million scheduled passenger kilometres (201 million miles) in 2017.

Following was Delta Air Lines in second, which flew 316.3 million scheduled passenger kilometres (196million miles), and then United Airlines on 311 million (193 million miles).

he ranking was revealed in a new report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which announced industry performance statistics for 2017.

The busiest non-US carrier was Emirates Airline, which flew 289 million scheduled passenger kilometres (179 million miles), claiming fourth place.

The top five was rounded off with Southwest Airlines, which flew 207.7 million scheduled passenger kilometres (129 million miles).

Also making the top ten were China Southern Airlines in sixth place on 177.4 million kilometres (110 million miles) followed by Ryanair in seventh on 157.1 million kilometres (97.6 million miles).

Lufthansa came eighth on 152.2 million kilometres (94.5 million miles) followed by China Eastern Airlines (151 million km/93.8 million miles) and Air China (145 million km/90 million miles).

In the cargo ranking Federal Express came top having flown 16.9 billion freight tonne kilometres.

In second place was Emirates (12.7 billion) and then United Parcel Service (11.9 billion), Qatar Airways (11 billion) and Cathay Pacific Airways (10.8 billion).

Also making the top ten global ranking for cargo were Korea Air (8 billion, sixth), Cargo Lux (7.3 billion, seventh), Lufthansa (7.3 billion, eight), Air China (6.7 billion, ninth) and Singapore Airlines (6.6 billion, 10th).

The busiest international routes of 2017, meanwhile, were all within the Asia-Pacific region with the most scheduled passenger kilometres on the link between Hong Kong and Taipei on 5.4 million (3.3 million miles).

Following behind was Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta to Singapore on 3.3 million and third was the link between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Hong Kong on 3.1 million.

The top five was rounded off by Kuala Lumpur to Singapore on 2.8 million and Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon on 2.7 million.

It was a similar story for domestic routes, with the top five in 2017 all being in the Asia-Pacific region.

The busiest was Jeju to Seoul Gimpo with 13.5 million scheduled passenger kilometers (8.3 million miles) followed by Melbourne Tullamarine to Sydney on 7.8 million.

In third was Fukuoka-Tokyo Haneda in Japan on 7.6 million followed by Sapporo-Tokyo Haneda on 7.4 million.

The fifth busiest domestic route was Beijing Capital to to Shanghai Hongqiao on 6.4 million scheduled passenger kilometers.

The report also showed that worldwide annual air passenger numbers exceeded four billion for the first time, which was attributed to an improvement in global economic conditions and lower average airfares.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said: ‘In 2000, the average citizen flew just once every 43 months. In 2017, the figure was once every 22 months.

‘Flying has never been more accessible. And this is liberating people to explore more of our planet for work, leisure and education. Aviation is the business of freedom.’