For the industry as a whole, 1994 was marked by substantial growth, with passenger traffic for the Airline Business 100 carriers increasing by 8.2 per cent and freight tonne km by 16.3 per cent. However there were some meteors, almost all of them smaller carriers whose revenues place them below the Airline Business 100.

Arguably, ValuJet should head the list of fastest growing carriers, but it does not appear since 1994 was its first full year of operation. Instead, two recently formed carriers are at the top - Moscow-based Transaero and Taiwan's EVA Air. While Transaero remains a small player, with only $67.5 million in annual sales, EVA Air is fast becoming a giant and now operates 20 widebody aircraft. The other major airlines with fast traffic growth are Korea's Asiana, also a young airline but now with over $1 billion in annual revenue; and Brazil's Vasp, which may reach $1 billion this year.

The buoyancy of the cargo market is reflected in the list of the fastest growing carriers measured in total revenue tonne km. Freight accounts for 45 per cent of EVA's total tonne km and 48 per cent of Asiana's. EVA ranks 63rd in revenue, but it is now the 28th largest air freight carrier. Southern Air Transport added four Boeing 747-200Fs to its fleet and Express One, Cargolux and Emery enjoyed rapid cargo growth. Several regional and niche airlines also grew fast, including Kiwi, Reno Air, MarkAir, TAM, Comair, TransAsia and Mesaba Air's parent AirTran.

There is little change this year among our breakout tables of top 20s - by passengers, revenue passenger km, revenue tonne km and freight tonne km (see page 47). British Airways overtakes Northwest to become the fourth largest by RPKs. Delta outranks American as the second largest by total RTKs, and Lufthansa steps into fourth place ahead of British Airways and Northwest. Korean Air moves from seventh to fifth in terms of FTKs, with SIA moving from 10th to seventh as a result of increased B747 freighter operations. Iberia fell out of the top 20 carriers by passengers and RPKs, being replaced by Qantas and Thai Airways International. Northwest and BA moved down in the freight rankings.

For the airlines reporting in both years, passenger load factors improved by a substantial 2.4 percentage points to 68.8 per cent. As usual, the charter and leisure carriers dominate the load factor rankings, led by Premiair and Airtours at over 93 per cent. But the table listing the top 20 by load factor includes notable appearances by several mainly scheduled carriers - including the shorthaul airlines Ryanair and Dragonair, the longhaul specialist Virgin Atlantic, and the European majors Air France and KLM.

A large number of carriers improved their load factors last year, but only Kenya Airways achieved a double-digit improvement (11.2 points, to 68.9 per cent). Notable improvers in filling seating capacity include TAM (7.0 points); World Airways (6.9 points); Czech Airlines (6.5 points); TransAsia (6.0 points); Malaysia Airlines and Cyprus Airways (5.9 points); Air France and Viasa (5.5 points); Adria (5.4 points); and Asiana, AOM and Air Mauritius (5.2 points). (Many smaller carriers' load factor gains cannot be shown in the main tables for space reasons).




Financial data is consolidated for the entire group where the airline is the dominant member of a group (eg AMR, UAL). Where the airline is a component of a wider group, airline-only data is provided (eg Cathay Pacific, Britannia).

Some airlines have reported in US dollars. For the others, local currencies are converted at the average exchange rates for the reporting period, taken from Reuters. Percentage changes in sales are calculated in US dollars and are therefore influenced by exchange rate changes.

Operating result is normally profit or loss after operating expenses but before interest, depreciation, abnormal items and tax. Net result is the profit or loss available to shareholders after all these items.

Traffic data includes all systemwide scheduled and charter traffic unless stated in the notes. Freight includes cargo, express and mail. When incomplete data was supplied, conversions were made between passenger tonne km and revenue passenger km assuming the standard measurement of 90kg per passenger. Other conversion rates are 1 mile = 1.6093km and 1 ton mile = 1.46 tonne km.

Fleet includes all jet and turboprop aircraft in service, but excludes aircraft leased out or withdrawn from use. Fleet and employee numbers are taken at the end of the financial year unless noted.


The primary source for all information in this survey is individual airline reports - Airline Business 100 reporting forms, annual reports or press releases.

Additional sources were Iata's World Air Transport Statistics (WATS); the US Department of Transportation's Form 41 (via Back Information Services); the Orient Airline Association's Statistical Report; the Air Transport Association; Reuters; and Airline Business files.

Where WATS or the DOT is a primary source of data, this is recorded in the notes column in the main tables. All WATS and DOT data is for calendar years. These sources have also been used to fill in gaps in airline reporting and to correct questionable figures.

Airline Business has estimated the revenues of Avianca, Kenya Airways, Kuwait Airways, Saudia, Sempati Air and Virgin Atlantic.


Air France Group: Is changing its year-end from December to March, but reported all data for calendar 1994. Includes Air Inter, Air Charter. Load factor is for Air France only.

Air New Zealand: includes Air Nelson, Eagle Air and Mount Cook (except fleet and RTKs).

Airborne Freight Corp: Traffic for Airborne Express.

Airlines of Britain: Includes British Midland, Manx and Loganair.

All Nippon Airways: Traffic ANA only.

Ansett Australia Holdings: Changed name from Ansett Transport Industries.

British Airways: Includes Deutsche BA, TAT and Brymon. BA restated its 1993/4 results.

Canadian Airlines Corp: Changed name from PWA Corp.

China Southern: Includes Xiamen Airlines, Shantou Airlines and Guangxi Airlines.

Continental Airlines: Financials include Continental Express. Traffic, fleet for Continental Airlines only. 1993 profit arose from extraordinary gain of $3,619m on emerging from Chapter 11.

Czech Airlines: Changed name from CSA Czechoslovak Airlines.

Delta Air Lines: All data for calendar years, rather than the airline's financial year which ends 30 June. 1993 loss includes $587 million due to an accounting change.

HAL/Hawaiian Air: Emerged from Chapter 11 in September 1994. Pre-tax loss $26.8 million before Fresh Start accounting gains.

Japan Airlines: Includes Japan Asia, Japan Air Charter and Japan TransOcean Air.

Kuwait Airways: Employees as of 31 December 1994.

Monarch Airlines: 1994/5 financials unaudited.

Olympic Airways: Does not include Olympic Aviation. 1994 financials estimated by airline.

Philippine Airlines: 1994/5 financials unaudited.


Source: Airline Business