Europes largest airlines ranked by passengers in millions

What are the largest airlines in Europe?

Everyone is familiar with names such as British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet, but most people don’t know which airline is the largest airline in Europe. There is uncertainty due to a large number of mergers and bankruptcies that have taken place in the aviation sector. Well-known examples are the merger between Air France and KLM and the bankruptcy of Belgian Sabena and Hungarian Malev. Moreover, low-cost airlines play a major role for now in Europe. The main cause of this is the deregulation of European airspace in 1992. From that moment airlines were allowed to fly within the EU without the consent of national governments. This resulted in the rise of low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet, a success as can be proven by the number of passengers low-cost carriers carried in 2016.

Top 20 largest airlines Europe, 2017:

Position Airlines Passengers
1 Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines) 116.8 million
2 Ryanair 109.7 million
3 IAG (British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, Aer Lingus, LEVEL) 100.7 million
4 Air France-KLM (Air France, KLM, HOP!, Transavia, JOON) 93.4 million
5 easyJet 74.5 million
6 Turkish Airlines 62.8 million
7 Aeroflot Group (Aeroflot, Rossiya Airlines, Pobeda) 43.4 million
8 Norwegian 29.4 million
9 SAS Group (Scandinavian Airlines) 29.3 million
10 Wizz Air 28.9 million
11 Pegasus Airlines /
12 Alitalia 24.1 million
13 S7 Airlines 22.8 million
14 TAP Air Portugal /
15 Aegean Airlines (and Olympic Air) 13.1 million
16 Finnair 11.7 million
17 Air Europa 10.9 million
18 SunExpress /
19 Flybe /
20 Travel Service and Czech Airlines /
  • Lufthansa Group in 2017 = Lufthansa 66.2 million (including regional airlines), Eurowings 23.5 million, Swiss 18.9 million (including Edelweiss Air), Austrian Airlines 12.9 million, Brussels Airlines 9.1 million
  • Air France-KLM in 2017 = Air France and HOP! 51.2 million, KLM 32.7 million, Transavia 14.8 million
  • Aeroflot Group in 2017 = Aeroflot = 32.8 million, Pobeda, Rossiya Airlines and Aurora Airlines (51% owned) = 17.3 million

Which airlines are banned within the EU?

To improve safety in Europe further, the European Commission has decided to ban airlines found to be unsafe from operating in European airspace. These airlines are placed on a blacklist. Banned airlines are not allowed to fly within Europe and should not take off or land at European airports. Click here to see the list of airlines banned within the EU. offers free airport information through its own websites and partners. The use of this data is only permitted for non-commercial purposes, provided that the source is mentioned. Use for commercial purposes requires permission from, see the disclaimer.