Europes largest airlines ranked by passengers in millions

What are the largest airlines in Europe?

Everyone is familiar with names such as British Airways, Aer Lingus 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 like Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air, a success as can be proven by the number of passengers low-cost carriers carried in 2019.

Top 20 largest airlines Europe, 2019:

Position Airline Passengers
1 Ryanair 152.4 million
2 Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Eurowings, Brussels Airlines, Swiss, Austrian Airlines) 145.2 million
3 IAG Group (British Airways, Vueling, Iberia, Aer Lingus, LEVEL) 118.3 million
4 Air France-KLM (Air France, KLM, Transavia France, Transavia) 104.2 million
5 easyJet 96.1 million
6 Turkish Airlines (including AnadoluJet) 74.3 million
7 Aeroflot Group (Aeroflot, Pobeda, Rossiya Airlines) 60.7 million
8 Wizz Air 39.8 million
9 Norwegian 36.3 million
10 Pegasus Airlines 30.8 million
11 SAS Group (Scandinavian Airlines)* 29.8 million
12 Alitalia (now ITA Airways) 21.3 million
13 S7 Airlines 17.8 million
14 TAP Air Portugal 17.1 million
15 Aegean Airlines (and Olympic Air) 15.0 million
16 Finnair 14.7 million
17 Air Europa 13.1 million
18 Jet2 12.8 million
19 TUI Airways 11.8 million
20 LOT 10.0 million

* Fiscal year 2019 (1 November 2018 – 31 October 2019)

Lufthansa Group 2019 = Lufthansa 71.3 million (including regional partners), Eurowings 38.2 million (Eurowings 28.1 mil. and Brussels Airlines 10.2 mil.), Swiss 21.6 million (including Edelweiss Air), Austrian Airlines 14.7 million
IAG Group 2019 = British Airways 47.7 million, Vueling 34.6 million, Iberia 22.449 million (including Iberia Express), Aer Lingus 11.649 million, LEVEL 1.9 million
Air France-KLM 2019 = Air France 52.5 million (including HOP!), KLM 35.1 million, Transavia 16.6 million (Transavia France and Transavia)
Aeroflot Group 2019 = Aeroflot 37.2 million, Pobeda, Rossiya Airlines and Aurora (51% ownership) 23.5 million

easyJet annual report 2020: Due to the impact of COVID-19, in the 2020 financial year easyJet flew only 48.1 million passengers (2019: 96.1 million), down 50% on the prior year.

Top 20 largest airlines Europe (individual), 2019:

Position Airline Passengers
1 Ryanair 152.4 million
2 easyJet 96.1 million
3 Turkish Airlines (including AnadoluJet) 74.3 million
4 Lufthansa 71.3 million
5 Air France (including HOP!) 52.5 million
6 British Airways 47.7 million
7 Wizz Air 39.8 million
8 Aeroflot 37.2 million
9 Norwegian 36.3 million
10 KLM 35.1 million
11 Vueling 34.6 million
12 Pegasus Airlines 30.8 million
13 Scandinavian Airlines 29.8 million
14 Eurowings 28.1 million
15 Iberia 22.4 million
16 Swiss 21.6 million
17 Alitalia (now ITA Airways) 21.3 million
18 S7 Airlines 17.8 million
19 TAP Air Portugal 17.1 million
20 Transavia France and Transavia 16.6 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.