The Top 10 Airlines Ranked by the Number of Employees

August 17, 2023

Airlines do more than just move people across borders. They connect economies, enable businesses to flourish, boost tourism and support countless other sectors indirectly. The sheer number of employees in the aviation sector is a testament to its vital role in the global economy. Every flight taken supports jobs, fuels growth and underscores the importance of a connected world.

Based on the 2023 Allianz Partners Big Book of Travel Data by IdeaWorks, here are the top 10 airlines, ranked in descending order by their number of employees at the end of 2022:

10. Emirates Group – 44,733 employees

From Dubai’s shimmering skyline, Emirates operates as a bridge between East and West, employing tens of thousands in the process.

9. International Airlines Group (IAG) – 59,505 employees

As the parent company of several major airlines like British Airways and Iberia, IAG has an impressive workforce managing extensive networks.

8. Southwest Airlines – 66,656 employees

A household name in the U.S., Southwest’s friendly service and vast domestic network are backed by a substantial workforce.

7. Air France-KLM Group – 74,602 employees

A key player in the European aviation sector, the combined strength of Air France and KLM ensures a dominant presence in the skies.

6. China Eastern Airlines – 80,193 employees

Enhancing connectivity both within and outside Asia, China Eastern plays a pivotal role in the global aviation scene.

5. Air China – 87,190 employees

As China’s aviation industry soars, Air China stands as a testament to the country’s growing global connectivity.

4. United Airlines – 92,795 employees

Operating numerous routes across the globe, United is another vital player in the American aviation sector.

3. Delta Air Lines- 95,000 employees

As one of the dominant airlines in the U.S., Delta’s large workforce underscores its extensive operations and the significant role it plays in North America’s travel landscape.

2. China Southern Airlines – 97,899 employees

Operating from the buzzing Asian market, China Southern has been rapidly expanding its footprint, which is reflected in its employee strength.

1. American Airlines – 129,700 employees

Leading the pack is American Airlines. With a workforce the size of a small city, they make a significant contribution to the industry and have a vast network that serves millions of passengers each year.

The next time you fly, remember that you’re not just traveling. You’re part of a vast, intricate system that plays a vital role in keeping the world’s economy airborne. Safe travels!

To see the full list of holdings in the U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS), click here.

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Please carefully consider a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. For this and other important information, obtain a statutory and summary prospectus for JETS by clicking here. Read it carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Shares of any ETF are bought and sold at market price (not NAV), may trade at a discount or premium to NAV and are not individually redeemed from the funds. Brokerage commissions will reduce returns. Because the funds concentrate their investments in specific industries, the funds may be subject to greater risks and fluctuations than a portfolio representing a broader range of industries. The funds are non-diversified, meaning they may concentrate more of their assets in a smaller number of issuers than diversified funds. The funds invest in foreign securities which involve greater volatility and political, economic and currency risks and differences in accounting methods. These risks are greater for investments in emerging markets.

The funds may invest in the securities of smaller-capitalization companies, which may be more volatile than funds that invest in larger, more established companies. The performance of the funds may diverge from that of the index. Because the funds may employ a representative sampling strategy and may also invest in securities that are not included in the index, the funds may experience tracking error to a greater extent than funds that seek to replicate an index. The funds are not actively managed and may be affected by a general decline in market segments related to the index.

Airline Companies may be adversely affected by a downturn in economic conditions that can result in decreased demand for air travel and may also be significantly affected by changes in fuel prices, labor relations and insurance costs.

Fund holdings and allocations are subject to change at any time. Click to view fund holdings for JETS.

Distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC. U.S. Global Investors is the investment adviser to JETS.