Five major airlines were unable to provide 1996 revenue figures, and they have been eliminated from the main Airline Business 100 list because it is unrealistic to attempt to estimate revenues for several years in a row.

Had data been available, Garuda's revenues of around $2 billion would have placed it in the mid-30s, while Air China's revenue is likely to have grown substantially from the $1.3 billion it recorded in 1995, placing it in the early 40s.

Britannia Airways, which ranked 61 last year on 1995 revenues of $940 million, is no longer prepared to separate its results from those of its parent, the Thomson Travel Group. Egyptair probably generates $700 million in revenue, placing it in the late 60s. Air Afrique has not yet reported for 1996, but its $500 million in revenue would place it in the mid-80s in the rankings.

These carriers are included in the 'other carriers' table on page 38, ranked by total revenue tonne km, alongside a group of smaller carriers whose traffic suggests revenues of over $100 million.

Some of the new entrants in the Airline Business 100 owe their positions to the lack of data on these five airlines. However, UK charter carrier Airtours International nearly doubled its revenue and moves up from 113th to 80th place, and both World Airways and Lauda Air entered the 100 as a result of substantial revenue growth.

The table of 50 carriers immediately below the Airline Business 100 contains several newcomers, including US startups Polar Air Cargo, Midway and Western Pacific; India's Jet Airways; Canadian charter firm Royal Aviation; and rapidly growing carriers like Transaero, Air Europe SpA, Virgin Express, Trans States and Aces Colombia. Cargo wet-lease operator Atlas Air moves from 147th place to 105th on an 84 per cent revenue increase.

Source: Airline Business