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The objective of the following article is to offer relevant information on the airline sector and resolve questions that may arise for the user who wants to delve deeper into this matter.

What Type of Companies are Airlines?

An airline or air company is a company of a private, public or mixed nature whose main activity focuses on the transportation of passengers or cargo of all types by plane.

The airline world is very complex and highly regulated. There are airline companies that transport passengers and cargo on a regular basis, while there are also other companies that transport passengers punctually on demand. These latter companies are known as "charter".

The biggest costs that airlines have to face are the salaries of their employees, fuel and aircraft rental. Added to these are variable expenses such as airport taxes, marketing, promotions or commissions to travel agencies.

On the other hand, profit margins in the airline industry are very tight. The net profit margin stands at 3.4% (higher than 3.1% in 2019). To give us an idea, Lufthansa, the first European airline group, closed 2019 with revenues of 39 billion euros. Its costs rose to 37,309 million, which left the operating result (EBIT) at 1,857 million.

However, the IAG group stands out among service providers that have managed to increase employee cost efficiency to increase their margins, as labor costs decreased from 27% of revenue to 19% during 2007-2018.

Passengers transported worldwide by airlines have increased to 4.72 billion (4% more than the 4.54 billion passengers in 2019). The tons of cargo transported recovered to 62.4 million, an increase of 2.0% over the 61.2 million tons transported in 2019. Airlines offer an essential service for economic and social development at a global level.

Airlines are grouped into airline alliances, forming a cooperation agreement aimed at maximizing resources, providing better service to passengers, sharing routes, facilities, personnel, investments and purchases, etc. The three largest global airline alliances are Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld. Alliances provide a trademark to facilitate travelers making codeshare connections between airlines within countries. Likewise, the alliances have a network that provides connectivity and convenience for international passengers and cargo.

Business management in an airline company makes it essential to acquire specific knowledge of this sector and, to achieve this, there is nothing better than obtaining it from the senior managers of the companies that comprise it, such as the ITAérea professors. Authentic experts with years of experience in the direction and management of airline companies..


What is a LegacyCarrier or Airline?

A traditional airline is mainly characterized by offering a series of services to passengers that are included in the price of the ticket and that differ substantially from those offered by low-cost airlines.

Some examples of traditional companies are: Iberia, Emirates, American, Delta, British Airways, Alitalia, Qatar, Aeroflot, SAS, ANA, LATAM, Avianca and much more.

Next, we will list a series of characteristics that define traditional airlines:

  • Traditional airlines offer passengers a free lunch or dinner on long-distance trips and on short-distance trips they offer snacks and drinks.
  • On a traditional airline aircraft there are approximately 128 seats (standard aircraft) and most have business class or first class with larger seats and arranged at a greater distance for the passenger's comfort.
  • It is common for a traditional airline to have a fleet made up of various aircraft models to cover routes of any distance. This fact implies that the airline's maintenance staff must have various qualifications, which makes the service more expensive.
  • By purchasing the ticket, a traditional airline gives the passenger the right to carry a carry-on bag and 1 or 2 suitcases of 25kg. Traditional airlines offer the service of ticket sales via the Internet and in physical format through travel agencies and at the airport itself, where they allow check-in at the counter.
  • A traditional airline offers its customers long-distance routes, with stops, transoceanic routes, etc.

The Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport is in the lead in traditional airline traffic with a share of 37.5%, far from Catalonia (17.2%), the Canary Islands (16.1%) and the Balearic Islands (14.5%). . This fact is due to the fact that the Spanish capital's airport is the main destination for travelers from outside the European Union, who usually travel on traditional airlines.

It is worth highlighting a fact that is repeated in a large part of traditional airlines and that is that their rates are constant regardless of how far in advance the reservation is made. This circumstance is totally different from what happens in the case of low-cost airlines.

To compete with the low fares of Low Cost airlines, some traditional airlines create low cost subsidiaries, such as Iberia creating Level, KLM with Transavia, Air France with Joon, Singapore Airlines with Scoop or Qantas with Jetstar.

In addition to including in-flight technologies and entertainment, loyalty programs, VIP lounges and other amenities, traditional airlines have the best weapon to compete in a changing and competitive market: customer service. This includes everything from the sale to on-board service, the end of the trip and, in case of delays or cancellations, exact and precise monitoring of the traveler's needs.

What is a Low Cost Carrier or Airline?

A low-cost airline or low-cost carrier is an airline that offers low flight rates in exchange for eliminating many of the services that passengers receive from traditional airlines, or that charge for these services additionally (complementary services or 'ancillaries'). ). The emergence of low-cost airlines in air transport represented a true revolution. Traveling became accessible to people with all types of budgets.

The concept emerged in the United States before spreading to Europe in the early 1990s and from there to the rest of the world due to the increase in demand for air transport. Initially, the term low cost was used within the aviation industry to refer to companies with low or lower operating costs than their competitors. Through the media, its meaning varied, and now it defines any airline with low prices and limited services, compared to those of traditional airlines.

Next, we will list a series of characteristics that define low-cost airlines:

Fuel saving

Fuel savings is one of the keys. Low-cost flight companies spend less on refueling, a very profitable risk - within legal limits - but subject to possible problems. According to data published in February of this year, Ryanair's fuel allocation was reduced by 8% compared to its previous fiscal year, to 1,515 million euros.

The cost of oil can be up to 50% of airlines' total costs, so their profits will depend greatly on the movements of this raw material in the markets.

With the aim of generating a greater profit per ticket, airlines try to reduce this cost through fuel risk hedging strategies, taking advantage of times when oil is at a good price.

A single model of airplane

Another way to be more profitable is to use a single aircraft model. This is the case of Ryanair, which only flies the Boeing 737 and has a total fleet of 404 aircraft of this type. This means that pilots, engineers, mechanics, stewards and operations personnel do not require different professional training for each aircraft, which represents great savings in training, operational, maintenance costs, etc. On the other side of the coin would be traditional companies such as Iberia since, with a total fleet of 246 units, it has five different types of aircraft.

Aancillary costs

Baggage check-in, seat selection, menu selection or internet connection during the flight have contributed a total of 25,419 million euros during 2018 to the main global airlines, compared to the 1,760 million generated in 2007.

These services, such as seat selection, baggage check-in, access to VIP lounges or in-flight catering, have gradually spread throughout the air transport industry as a means of compensating for lost revenue due to the lowest cost of tickets.

The American United Airlines appears in first position in the ranking of additional income, with 4.8 million euros, followed by Delta 5.3 million dollars 4.5 million euros, American Airlines, 4.4 million euros. Following the three North American companies are Southwest with 2.5 million euros, Air France-KLM with 1.6 million euros.

Next, with 1.9 million euros, appears Ryanair, followed by the British company EasyJet, with 1 million euros, the only two low cost companies included among the top ten companies with the most income from this type of service.

High occupancy

The last thing a company wants is to take off with empty seats (each one of them is money lost), so it will end up lowering the prices and the passenger will be able to take advantage of the final discount.

In reality, airlines prefer to maintain prices or even raise them, as it is much more profitable for them. There are many airline tickets that are below the income necessary to cover all costs, but it is preferable to sell them at a price that generates demand rather than lose that additional income by only selling tickets that cover costs.

The most profitable routes

There is one route that has already surpassed the $1 billion revenue threshold for an airline, according to a report by air travel analytics company OAG.

This is the case of the LHR-JFK itinerary, that is, the route from London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom to John Fitzgerald Kennedy in New York, United States, operated by British Airways (BA).

That journey gave the British airline an income of US$1,037,724,867 between April 2017 and March 2018.

The tour represented 6% of all BA revenues in 2017 and accounted for some 42,117 scheduled flight hours in total.

And, surprisingly, it is not the most profitable leg when considering earnings per flight hour.

London-New York generates BA US$24,639 for every hour in the air.

But if this criterion is used, the award goes to the London Heathrow to Dubai International Airport (LHR – DXB) section operated by Emirates airline with US$25,308.

Manpower downsizing

The 'low cost' companies decided to seek profitability by reducing personnel costs and the interior space of the plane. Fewer flight attendants in the cabin, stiffer and lighter seats and less legroom. With more lines for passengers, airlines can sell more tickets at a lower price.

Likewise, in 'low cost' short and medium-haul operations predominate, so, generally, they do not need to pay for hotels for the crew to spend the night. In addition, takeoffs and landings are done in the shortest time possible, since the plane only earns money when it is flying.

Once we have understood the tools available to airlines to optimize their profits, we can go on to cite specific examples of the profitability of the airlines that occupy the top positions on the lists.

What Services does an Airline Offer?

Within the civil sphere, the air transport service provided by commercial aviation can be regular (airlines) and non-regular (charter flight). Airlines are characterized by being subject to itineraries, schedules and frequencies, regardless of the demand they have. Non-scheduled services are also known as “on demand”. The sector that provides passenger or cargo transportation services is known as a whole as the airline industry.

When we purchase a plane ticket we find that the airline offers different types of flight classes or categories, with different prices according to the level of service. Each airline has a different offer depending on the routes and type of flight.

Most airlines have an economy or economy class which is usually the lowest priced. This rate includes online check-in, baggage allowance, choice of seats, drinks, snacks and free menus. This class has row seats with reclining headrests. It also has an individual entertainment system with music, videos and games for all tastes and ages.

Some airlines such as LAN or British Airways offer their customers a premium economy class. This service is offered on certain long-distance routes, providing greater privacy, space and comfort in a smaller cabin. This class has universal charging terminals for smartphones, tablets or laptops; DVD player or electronic games. In addition to the modern in-flight entertainment system, a wide selection of magazines and newspapers is available. Other benefits of this category include access to VIP lounges, seating in the front rows with the middle seat blocked, preferential check-in and boarding, preferential disembarkation and baggage claim, Premium Business onboard service, accumulation of a greater number of miles and more Baggage allowance.

First class or business class can cost up to ten times more than a ticket in economy class. The difference begins from the moment we set foot at the airport or even before. First class passengers have a special transfer service from their home or hotel to the airport. Likewise, an employee picks up our luggage to take it to the airport and check it in for us. Once at the airport, the passenger has a special boarding gate at their disposal to avoid waiting in line and also has access to VIP lounges. The airplane seats recline completely and each seat has an individual entertainment screen. Priority is given to loading and unloading first class luggage and the cabin has extra space for working or relaxing.

What is a Flag Carrier or Airline?

The label "flag carrier" is used today to define the most representative airline of a country. The term has its origins in the 1950s, when most airlines were state-run and state-invested. At that time the major national airlines incorporated a logo linked to the country's flag and acted as a means of worldwide publicity in order to promote tourism, trade, etc. A sort of ambassador, so to speak.

Iberia, British Airways, Aerolineas Argentinas, Air France or Japan Airlines are some examples of such companies.

Over the years, most of these flag carriers have been privatized due to the high operating costs that governments had to assume. Globalization and the emergence of large private airline alliances have displaced some of these traditional flag carriers, which have had no choice but to disappear, go bankrupt or merge with other airlines, so that the famous term has been disappearing.

Although many have stopped using the term, in the society of each country it is common knowledge which is the main airline, the most representative or its flag carrier, without it necessarily being state-owned or having this name officially.

These were or are currently some of the airlines that can be considered as flag carriers of the different countries:

AngolaTAAG Angola Airlines
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabian Airlines
ArgeliaAir Algérie
ArgentinaArgentinian airlines
AustriaAustrian Airlines
BelgiumBrussels Airlines
BoliviaBolivian aviation
BrasilLATAM Brasil
CanadaAir Canada
ChileLAN Airlines now LATAM Chile
ChinaAir China
CyprusCyprus Airways
South KoreaKorean Air
Costa RicaLacsa
CubaCuba aviation
DenmarkScandinavian Airlines
United Arab EmiratesEtihad Airways
FranceAir France
GreeceOlympic Airlines
Equatorial GuineaCeiba Intercontinental
Hong KongCathay Pacific
IndiaAir India
IrelandAer Lingus
JapanJapan Airlines
KenyaKenya Airways
MalaysiaMalaysia Airlines
MoroccoRoyal Air Maroc
NorwayScandinavian Airlines
New ZealandAir New Zealand
PanamaCopa Airlines
PortugalTAP Portugal
QatarQatar Airways
United KingdomBritish Airways
Dominican RepublicPAWA Dominicana
SingaporeSingapore Airlines
South africaSouth African Airways
SweedenScandinavian Airlines
SwitzerlandSwiss International Airlines
ThailandThai Airways International
TaiwanChina Airlines
TurkeyTurkish Airlines

The Ranking of the Best Airlines

The Skytrax World Airline Awards were launched in 1999, when they launched their first annual global airline user satisfaction survey.

Qatar Airways has been chosen the Best Airline in the World in 2019, the only one to have achieved it for the fifth time, although not consecutive, in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2019, according to the Skytrax awards list, announced in June 2019 and which are chosen by travelers from all over the world, this year 21 million from 100 countries. The Top 10 best network airlines are largely dominated by Asian airlines, especially Chinese, and the Middle East, altered only by companies from Australia and Germany. Including all the main categories, a Spanish company wins in the top European airlines. Likewise, airlines from Spain are among the best regional and low-cost short- and medium-haul and long-haul segments, although not in the first position.

The Spanish companies Iberia, Vueling and Level rose from position 41 to 26, from 94 to 91 and from 100 to 94 respectively. LATAM Airlines jumped from 63rd place to 49th, while Ryanair moved from 64th to 59th place and Alitalia gained 3 positions to 72nd place.

The survey is not limited to partner airlines or a pre-selected group, but any airline can be nominated. The goal of the consultation is to allow users to subjectively choose which airlines they consider to be the best. The participants in the survey evaluate the following aspects to issue their evaluations:

Punctuality: Based on statistics on the arrival and departure times of each plane, the punctuality of each airline is assessed.

Quality of service: Millions of passengers around the world provide feedback on the food, amenities and crew of the companies they travel with.

Claims Management: This section looks at how efficiently each airline handles claims, including the time it takes to make payments.

Below is the top ten ranking of the best airlines of 2019:

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. In a relatively short period of time, Qatar Airways has increased its routes to more than 140 destinations around the world, offering levels of service excellence that have allowed it to become the best airline in the world.

  3. Singapore Airlines
  4. Singapore Airlines is one of the most highly regarded airlines in the world. It operates one of the most modern fleets of aircraft in the world to a network of destinations distributed across six continents.

  5. ANA All Nippon Airways
  6. ANA All Nippon Airways is Japan's largest airline. It was founded in 1952 and currently operates about 80 international routes and more than 110 domestic routes. ANA has been a member of Star Alliance since 1999. Its loyalty program, ANA Mileage Club, has more than 29 million members.

  7. Cathay Pacific Airways
  8. The Cathay Pacific group, headquartered in Hong Kong, offers scheduled passenger and freight services to more than 200 destinations in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe and Africa, with a fleet of nearly 200 aircraft. Cathay Pacific is a founding member of the global Oneworld alliance.

  9. Emirates
  10. Founded in 1985, it started flying from Dubai with just two planes. Emirates currently has a fleet of more than 230 aircraft and flies to more than 140 destinations in more than 80 countries around the world.

  11. EVA Air
  12. EVA Air was founded in 1989 and is a member of the Star Alliance. EVA offers services through a global network linking Asia and mainland China with Europe, North America and Oceania, connecting more than 60 major tourism and business destinations.

  13. Hainan Airlines
  14. Hainan Airlines was founded in January 1993 in Hainan Province, China. As of the end of June 2018, Hainan Airlines and its subsidiaries had more than 400 operational aircraft and 24 bases. Hainan Airlines' network covers China, various parts of Asia and extends to Europe, North America and the South Pacific.

  15. Qantas Airways
  16. Founded in 1920, Qantas is Australia's flag carrier and a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance. Qantas is currently the largest domestic and international airline in Australia.

  17. Lufthansa
  18. Lufthansa is Germany's largest airline and one of the five founding members of the Star Alliance. Lufthansa's main airport is Frankfurt Airport, with Munich Airport being its second main airport.

  19. Thai Airways
  20. Thai Airways is the flag carrier of Thailand and was founded in 1988. Thai Airways is a founding member of Star Alliance. Including its subsidiaries, it flies to 84 destinations in 37 countries, with a fleet that exceeds 90 aircraft.

List of Low Cost Airline Companies

If in a previous section we defined what a low-cost or low-cost airline is, now we proceed to list the different low-cost companies in the world, grouping them by geographical areas or continents:


Air Cairo (Egypt), Air Arabia (Morocco), FastJet (Tanzania), Flysafair (South Africa), Mango (South Africa).


Air Transat (Canada), Porter (Canada), West Jet (Canada), Jet Blue (United States), Southwest (United States), Frontier (United States), Spirit (United States), Allegiant Air (United States), Interjet (Mexico), Viva Aerobus (Mexico), Volaris (Mexico).


Flybondi (Argentina), Gol (Brazil), Sky (Chile), EasyFly (Colombia), Viva Colombia, Peruvian Airlines (Peru), Sky Perú, Viva Air Perú.


Air Asia (Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok), Cebu Pacific (Philippines), Cathay Dragon (Hong Kong), Eastarjet (South Korea), Flydubai (United Arab Emirates), Hong Kong Express, Indigo (India), Jeju Air ( South Korea), Lion Air (Indonesia), Nok Air (Thailand), Peach Air (Japan), Scoot (Singapore), SpiceJet (India), Spring Airlines (China), Vanilla Airlines (Japan).


Jetstar (Melbourne)


Air Baltic (Latvia), Blue Air (Romania), Easyjet (United Kingdom), Eurowings (Germany), Iberia Express (Spain), Level (Spain), Norwegian Airlines (Norway), Pegasus Airlines (Turkey), Ryanair (Ireland) , Transavia (Netherlands), TUI fly (Belgium), Vueling (Spain), Wow (Iceland), Wizzair (Hungary).

What Characteristics does executive AviationPresent?

Private aviation, corporate aviation or executive aviation is high-value aviation included within general (non-commercial) aviation that is oriented to the efficient, comfortable and safe transportation of people in small groups (1 to 20) between any origin and destination. Far from the image of aviation for the rich, in certain contexts its use may be the only one justified from the point of view of the profitability of the trip.

It is true, however, that its offer combines attributes of special comfort, passenger service, speed, etc. that would be unapproachable in other types of aviation.

There are various modalities of access to this type of aviation that range from the most expensive (buying the plane) to the sporadic use of an aircraft offered by an air operator for as long as needed. This last modality, the closest to what we could understand by air taxi, offers all the flexibility of the air taxi paying only for the contracted flight hours.

Executive AviationModalities

In reality, there are several types of executive or corporate aviation:

  • The first occurs when a company or organization acquires or rents an aircraft to meet its transportation needs. In this case we are talking about private aviation. The company takes over the services of the aircraft as another resource for its management or operation.
  • The second type of executive aviation occurs when an air operator acquires or rents one or more aircraft to provide executive aviation services, air taxis, charter flights, etc.
  • A third modality occurs when the flag contract introduces the possibility for the operator to rent the flagged aircraft to third parties when the owner does not use it. The income is then divided between both parties to the agreement, and for the owner this income can represent an important aid to the purchase or maintenance of the aircraft.
  • Another modality is the purchase of aircraft in co-ownership or fractional ownership. Several companies agree to purchase an aircraft whose availability and expenses will be distributed depending on the part purchased, or through another type of agreement.
  • Although other formulas may occur, those mentioned are the most common.

The Traditional Business Model of Executive Aviation

The way in which most business aviation companies offer their services is significantly similar to what we could understand as 'air taxi' (air taxi). The client (company, professional, institution, etc.) reserves the complete vehicle for a series of hours or days, being able to use it according to their needs. The aircraft is offered with everything necessary to offer the service, from the crew to the necessary complementary services (fuel, airport handling, VIP waiting room, etc.).

The offering company must be able to offer all these services, either with its own resources or by subcontracting to third parties. The plane may be yours, or rented, or it may even be a third-party aircraft, with which the bidding company has an agreement to operate the aircraft when the owner does not use it. The ownership of the aircraft is not in any case relevant, or something that affects the client or end user who simply hires it for a specific flight or flights.

The budget is prepared based on the selected aircraft and the planned flight plan. Payment, except for a regular and trusted customer, is required in advance, as a requirement for booking the plane. The rate is usually established by flight hours, and is independent of the number of passengers. The business aviation company usually establishes a minimum rate per day, however, to ensure that it recovers all the costs it incurs, even if the client flies infrequently. It must be taken into account that in many cases the plane is hired to take the client to a single destination that is not necessarily far away, where the plane will remain parked until the time of return (sometimes a good part of the day).

The US is the main private aviation market, followed by Western Europe. France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom are the four countries with the largest business aviation sectors. Corporate aviation can connect more than 25,000 cities in Europe not connected by direct flights from regular airlines.

In the US, corporate aviation represents >1% of GDP, and 1.3 million jobs in professional services and manufacturing. Worldwide there are more than 350,000 corporate aviation aircraft and more than 700,000 pilots in that sector.

Aircraft Used in Executive Aviation

The aircraft used in executive aviation offer an exceptional level of comfort. Its capacity varies from just four seats to several dozen. The equipment on board is especially cared for, including comfortable seats, work tables, kitchens equipped to the last detail, very complete bathrooms, etc. Sometimes you can even talk about real luxury, with leather sofas, beds, giant screens, impressive bathrooms, etc. Manufacturers of this type of aircraft often boast of having interiors designed by renowned specialists, such as the firm BMW Designworks USA, which works among others for the manufacturers Embraer or Dassault Aviation. Among the most recognized manufacturers of jets for business aviation, it is worth highlighting the North American Cessna or Gulfstream, and the Canadian Bombardier. These are some of the most used jets in business aviation ordered by manufacturer:

  1. BOMBARDIER: Global, Challenger, y Learjet
  2. DASSAULT FALCON: Falcon 900, Falcon 2000, Falcon 7X, Falcon 8X, etc.
  3. EMBRAER: ERJ, Legacy, Praetor y Lineage
  4. GULFSTREAM AEROSPACE: G200, G280, G450, G500, G550, G650, etc.
  6. TEXTRON AVIATION: Cessna, Hawker y Beechcraft
  7. HONDA: Honda Jet Elite

Benefits of Corporate Aviation

  • Increased productivity and safety of travelers: corporate aircraft are equipped with communication technologies that allow travelers to stay connected during their flight. The aircraft are designed with the highest safety standards.
  • Reach multiple destinations quickly: Corporate Aviation is unbeatable in flexibility. To reach multiple destinations in a single day, this is the best way is business aviation because it would be impossible on any other type of transportation.
  • Access to places with little or no airline service: Business aviation serves more airports than commercial airlines. The flexibility of business aviation aircraft is greater due to the ability to use smaller airfields located closer to the destination.
  • Low probability of cancellation: around 3% of commercial airline flights are canceled and 25% are delayed. These concerns are almost non-existent in commercial aviation.
  • Equipment movement: When companies need to ship sensitive, critical or large equipment immediately, business aviation is once again the best solution.
  • Provide a return to shareholders: Companies that use commercial aviation to solve their transportation challenges return more to shareholders.
  • Support for humanitarian causes: business aviation supports people and communities in crisis.

How Does an Airline Company Decide Where to Fly?

Airlines are the most visible element of the air transport value chain, but at the same time they are the participants with the lowest profitability in the sector. For that reason, having a good strategy and flying the right routes is key to your success. For this purpose, airlines have a Network Planning department, in charge of analyzing and studying air routes. This department, which is part of the company's commercial and strategy area, decides which cities an airline flies to, that is, the routes it offers.

To do this, airline companies have large databases with historical passenger air traffic. This allows us to carry out studies on the evolution of traffic and expected demand to understand where the client wants to fly from. In order to provide an answer, the Network Planning department's studies focus on two main calculations: the number of passengers who will fly with the company and how much they will pay for it. These two calculations are based on two key variables in the sector: the load factor (LF%) and the average rate. The first indicates the % of tickets sold while the second indicates the average price at which they have been sold.

On the other hand, there are other factors that influence the economic results of the routes that an airline flies, such as the day of the week on which the route is offered, the schedule, the month of the year, or whether a competitor offers the same destination or an alternative destination. Therefore, the airline's own experience with other routes allows better decisions to be made in relation to the aforementioned aspects.

Despite the expected results for the routes, the company must operate what is consistent with its strategy and development plan. It must try to expand the destination network of its main airports as much as possible and be the strongest competitor in its main markets. In addition, all operational restrictions that occur in each case and that may prevent a specific route from being flown must be met and respected. Some of these limitations may be related to the fleet operated by the airline, flight permits or availability of airport slots.

Once the Network Planning department has carried out the corresponding studies and analyzed the competition, the final decision can be made about where the airline is going to fly.

For all of the above, the commercial and strategy area of an airline faces continually changing situations, having to respond to variations in demand and competition by offering what is truly profitable.

Alejandro Baró, teacher at ITAérea and Commercial Performance Analyst at Volotea.

How Does an Airline Decide the Prices of Its Tickets?

The innovation of business models in airlines clearly contributes to the creation of value, competitive advantage and profitability with new possibilities for action by them. Every airline will continue to grow and increase profitability if it has good revenue management, among many other aspects to consider.

Revenue Management is the technique used by airlines with the aim of optimizing these income, coming from the sale of airline tickets, by varying the prices of these tickets, through extensive knowledge of the behavior of demand and on everything in the market, which allows it to be segmented and thus be able to manipulate demand. We can affirm that Revenue Management is one of the instruments with the greatest power to influence the airline's results and, therefore, its profitability. In order to achieve this objective, a very complex analysis is required, since a high number of parameters are involved at the same time.

In general terms, Revenue Management is applicable whenever the following conditions are met: the product offered is fixed, limited and perishable (such as airplane seats); that the sales horizon is short (the ticket sales period does not go beyond one year); that there is a price-sensitive demand (there are different passengers with different willingness to pay); and have seasonal demand (such as the airline sector, since, clearly, the summer season predominates as the one with the highest demand).

The demand and supply of many services and products change in very revealing ways over time. Adopting a dynamic pricing approach for airline tickets that adjusts to these changes, particularly for companies that offer services or products characterized by being perishable, subject to seasonality, such as airlines , is one of the techniques that can have a greater positive impact on profits.

Within this dynamic setting of prices that is carried out by the Revenue team within the airlines, there will be many different pricing strategies that will determine the path to be followed by Revenue Management with the ultimate objective of maximizing the airline's income.

Víctor Vicente, teacher of ITAérea and former Revenue Management & Pricing Optimization Analyst at Volotea.

Main Spanish Airlines

Commercial aviation in Spain began to develop in the 20th century with the creation of companies such as Iberia, currently one of the oldest in the world. For a long time, the market had Iberia as the only flag airline, in addition to having flights from other international companies. Already in the 1980s, other airlines entered the market, such as Air Europa, which favored the expansion of the route offering and competition.

Below is the list of Type A airlines that have an air operator certificate from the aeronautical authority. The type A license allows the operation of passenger, cargo and/or mail air services, in exchange for remuneration and/or rental payment.

Air Europa, Air Europa Express, Air Horizont, Air Nostrum, AlbaStar, Binter Canarias, Canarias Airlines, Canaryfly, Cygnus Air, Evelop Airlines, Flightline, Gowair, Iberia, Iberia Express, LEVEL, NAYSA, PAN Air, Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas, Privilege Style, Swiftair, Volotea, Vueling, Wamos Air

Which Are the Best European Airlines?

map of European airlines and their country of origin

Airlines tend to be, due to the very nature of the air transport business, companies with a large size in turnover volume and workers, with a high international component, in constant growth and that need highly trained and qualified personnel.

As structured companies, they have diverse and appropriate departments according to previous training: Operations, Maintenance, Pricing, Revenue Management, Network Strategy Planning, Systems, Quality Control, etc.

Identifying the world of air transport with technical training is a serious mistake. All of the companies mentioned have their own necessary departments that allow their relationship with clients, their internal organization, their sales, etc. Therefore, it is common for airlines to demand profiles with great analytical skills, interest in the business side, strategic vision and focused on results.

Logically, it is positive to have specialized training compatible with these departments. Thus, profiles such as graduates in business administration and management, graduates in law, graduates in marketing, etc. have a place. plus undergraduate or postgraduate specialization in aeronautical and airport management.

Below is specialized airline training:


On the other hand, it is essential to have a good level of English, since companies in this sector work internationally. Likewise, companies in the sector are obliged to provide constant training to their employees, since the specificity of technology and its evolution requires constant learning and updating of knowledge.

To better understand the magnitude of the airline business, it is necessary to know the data that these companies manage:

In 2019, the Ryanair group was once again crowned Europe's largest airline group by passenger numbers, with an increase of 9.5% to 152 million passengers. Ryanair is also the world's seventh largest commercial airline by number of aircraft.

The Lufthansa group, leader in 2018, fell to second place, with 145 million passengers carried in 2019. It consists of Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and Germanwings. Among all the group's commercial airlines there are 734 aircraft, although they do not reach Ryanair's number of passengers.

The commercial airlines that make up International Airlines Group, one of the largest airline groups in the world with a fleet of 598 aircraft that fly to 279 destinations and transport more than 118 million passengers each year, are: British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and LEVEL.

Air France and KLM form one of the largest airline groups in the world of aviation since both giants of European aviation joined forces in 2004. But the group is not only made up of these two large airlines, it also includes the airline low-cost airline Transavia.

EasyJet is the second largest low-cost airline in Europe, behind Ryanair, and the twelfth largest airline in the world by number of aircraft. Since the Greek businessman Stelios Haji-Ioannou founded easyJet in 1995 to take advantage of a gap in the aviation market in Europe, this airline specialized in selling flights at low prices has not stopped growing both in number of aircraft and in number of passengers transported and routes operated.

Turkish Airlines, the ninth airline in the world in number of aircraft, is also the sixth airline in Europe in number of passengers transported. But Turkish Airlines also became, with 315 destinations to 126 countries around the world, the largest airline in the world in number of destinations and countries served.

Since it began operating in 2003, Wizz Air (Wizz) has become one of Europe's largest low-cost airlines and one of the fastest growing year after year with a focus on smaller airports that allows for greater flexibility and offer more economical prices.

The history of Norwegian, Norway's largest airline, has been full of lights and shadows for years. With a larger structure than an airline that aims to compete in the low-cost field should have, Norwegian has had to be partially rescued by the Norwegian government.

The SAS group is made up of SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) and Scandinavian Airlines Ireland (formed in 2017) and has become the tenth largest airline in Europe in terms of number of passengers transported in 2019.

Italy's national airline, Alitalia, has had a turbulent few years and since it was relaunched again in 2009 and despite having been in bankruptcy administration throughout 2019, it has slipped into 12th place on this list (including Alitalia Citiliner , Alitalia's regional flights subsidiary that has been operating since 2006).

Some of these airlines and aviation groups are also among the 20 largest airlines in the world in number of aircraft.


INSTITUTO TÉCNICO DE FORMACIÓN Y CONSULTORIA AÉREA, S.L. “ITAÉREA” es una empresa, cuya actividad principal es OTRA EDUCACIÓN-FORMACIÓN ESPECIALIZADA y es titular del Sitio Web (en adelante, el Sitio Web), con domicilio en Carril de La Condesa, 58 “Torrre Proconsa” oficina 605-30010- Murcia. España y C.I.F nº CIF nº B-73694895 (en adelante, “la empresa”).

La empresa le garantiza la protección de todos los datos de carácter personal que proporcione el Usuario en el Sitio Web y, en cumplimiento de lo dispuesto en Reglamento (UE) 2016/679 del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo de 27 de abril de 2016, en adelante RGPD, relativo a la protección de las personas físicas en lo que respecta al tratamiento de datos personales y a la libre circulación de estos datos y restante normativa de aplicación, le informa que:

a) El usuario cuyos datos figuran en el presente Formulario, consiente de forma expresa a la empresa, el tratamiento de sus datos personales con objeto de gestionar los servicios, así como la autorización a la comunicación con aquellas entidades respecto de las cuales la empresa, tuviera concertado contrato de prestación y promoción de servicios.

b) Todos los datos de carácter personal facilitados a la empresa serán tratados por ésta, de acuerdo con el RGPD y quedarán incorporados en el Registro de Actividad de Tratamiento PÁGINA WEB, creado y mantenido bajo la responsabilidad de la empresa.

c) En la recogida y el tratamiento de los datos de carácter personal se han adoptado las medidas de seguridad adecuadas para evitar la pérdida, el acceso no autorizado o la manipulación de los mismos, de acuerdo con lo establecido en el RGPD.

d) La empresa se compromete a proteger la información confidencial a la que tenga acceso.

e) La empresa no empleará en ningún caso los datos de carácter personal que usted ponga a su disposición para prestar servicios a terceros distintos a los referidos en el apartado a) del presente documento o, en su caso, para lograr una utilidad propia.

f) El Usuario puede, en todo momento, ejercitar los derechos de acceso, rectificación, cancelación, oposición, supresión o “Derecho al Olvido”, portabilidad así como limitación del tratamiento, sobre sus datos personales así como el de revocación del consentimiento para la empresa a cualquiera de las finalidades antes señaladas, enviando a la empresa carta debidamente firmada a nuestra dirección postal Carril de La Condesa, 58 “Torrre Proconsa” oficina 605-30010- Murcia, España o bien al correo, donde consten claramente los datos de contacto, a la cual deberá acompañarse fotocopia de su DNI/NIF o documento que acredite su identidad.

g) El Usuario autoriza al tratamiento automatizado de los datos personales suministrados en los términos indicados. Para ello pulse el botón “ENVIAR” que se encuentra tras el formulario de contacto: