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American Airlines is the 'World's Largest Airline,' But It Wasn't Always That Way

December 9, 2013 at 8:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

6,700 flights daily to 336 destinations in 56 countries with around 952 aircraft...and counting. This is the new American Airlines as it exists, starting today, thanks to the merger with US Airways. These numbers officially bump AA up to the kingly level of "largest airline in the world."

Of course the taking of a title means there's another airline that can no longer claim the same. Today, American has kicked United off the pedestal for largest airline, but even they didn't reign all that long. Here's a recent history of the "world's largest airline" title:

December 9, 2013 - current: American Airlines

October 1, 2010 - December 8, 2013: United Airlines was the largest airline in the world for a tad over three years after closing their merger deal with Continental. A bit of Continental lives on, however, as a "retrojet" in the old livery remains a piece of United's fleet.

October 29, 2008 - September 30, 2010: Delta Air Lines briefly held the title after merging with Northwest. Sadly no Northwest retrojets exist...yet.

Earlier than these dates, the clear winner gets hazy as distinguishing factors like total destinations, total passengers flown, and total fleet size render different airlines tops.

*dates refer to the receipt of US Government approval for the mergers or transaction close date.

[Photo: Jaunted]

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