747400sp
Topic Author
Posts: 3900
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:27 pm

In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:03 pm

I was looking at this old Eastern commercial,( www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4rM1oJeGYA ), and as said in the commercial, Eastern was the second largest airline in the free world. I wonder, what was the largest, third largest and fourth largest airlines in the free world in 1970? I would think UA would have been the largest.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:43 pm

Aeroflot?

Lebanon's TMA was one of the largest (if not the largest) cargo airline in the world. But that was around 1972-73.

[Edited 2009-02-07 13:08:40]
 
kaitak
Posts: 9756
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:49 pm



Quoting OD720 (Reply 1):
Aeroflot?

I think EA was referring to the (then) free world.

I think United was the biggest for many years (not sure if that was as far back as the '70s).

However, there was also a question of parameters: do they mean by pax numbers, fleet size, revenue passenger kilometres/miles or what?

I'm sure United, Air France and American featured pretty high on the list.
 
steman
Posts: 1602
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2000 4:55 pm

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:52 pm

It´s always difficult to determing the largest airline in the world.
Largest in terms of what? Number of passenger carried? Fleet? Revenue? RPK? ASK?

I believe Pan Am back in 1970 might have been one of the largest in the world.
Maybe TWA and United too.
In Europe I´d say the same as today: LH and AF

How could TMA have been the largest airline in the world?

S
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:57 pm

Back in the 70's UA was pretty much a USA domestic airline.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
raffik
Posts: 1563
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:50 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:06 pm



Quoting Steman (Reply 3):
How could TMA have been the largest airline in the world

TMA was the largest cargo carrier in the world by tonnage carried plus largest fleet of aircraft
(B747s and B707s). They were the first cargo airline to oeprate a "Round the world" service which stopped at many destinations including New York JFK.

In 1968 TMA established the longest scheduled air cargo route in the world, linking the United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, India, United States South-East Asia and the Far East.

Pioneering Achievements

After its establishment in 1953, TMA grew rapidly to become one of the world's major cargo airlines with the largest international all cargo network linking major cities in the five continents, and thus became:

The First All cargo airline in the Middle East.

The First Airline with scheduled cargo service linking Europe and the Far East.

The First Airline offering Round-the-World all cargo service, in both East and West bound directions.

The First Air services in the Arab World linking USA with Middle East.

The First Airline to operate a B747 in the Arab World.

The First Cargo airline to link Tokyo with New York indirect services over Anchorage resulting in the largest all cargo network.

The First Airline to obtain ISO 9002 Certification for the totality of its activities and operations.

So if we are talking cargo, TMA was one of them!
- Alec
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:07 pm



Quoting Steman (Reply 3):
How could TMA have been the largest airline in the world?

Sorry about that, I meant the largest cargo airline. I will edit my first post.
 
PSA727
Posts: 845
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:49 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:17 pm

I had a very nice commercial aviation book as a child ( I think it was published in 1974/1975) and I remember Aeroflot was the world's largest carrier, then United, then Eastern and Delta (I believe). I seem to recall that there was a carrier (not sure if it was an American carrier) that was in the Top 10 but was mostly short-haul flying. Maybe it was Allegheny.
fly high, pay low...Germanwings!
 
bobnwa
Posts: 4514
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:10 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:36 pm



Quoting Raffik (Reply 5):
TMA was the largest cargo carrier in the world by tonnage carried plus largest fleet of aircraft
(B747s and B707s).

Do you have a source to verify that TMA was the largest cargo carrier in the world in 1970. I am also very doubtful that TMA had the largest 747 and 707 fleet in 1970 as the first 747 in service was by Pan AM in 1970 and was a passenger model as were the subsequent deliveries for quite a while, If you are saying that TMA had 747 freighter models in 1970 that is even more doubtful.
 
User avatar
malaysia
Posts: 2644
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 1999 3:26 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:57 pm

TMA had 3 707s in 1970 and 2 747s came in 1976
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:41 pm



Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 4):
Back in the 70's UA was pretty much a USA domestic airline.

In the 1970s UA was totally a US domestic airline, except for two routes to Canada, SEA-YVR and ORD-YYZ. But they were still one of the largest airlines (possibly the largest) in the world in number of passengers carried. UA had no other international routes until 1983 when they obtained rights SEA-NRT and SEA-HKG.
 
raffik
Posts: 1563
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:50 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:57 pm

Bobnwa , please don't quote me out of context. I was merely clarifying an earlier post about TMA. At one point, not 1970, but in the 1970s, TMA was the largest ALL cargo airline.

In 1974, the airline carried 240,700,000 tons of freight employing 2500 staff, increasing to 367,115,000 tons of freight in the late 1970s on their round the world cargo network.

They were the biggest cargo airline in the late sixties and early seventies in the world.

http://www.geocities.com/wassch71/tma/tmahistory.html
- Alec
 
timz
Posts: 6577
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:10 am

According to that link TMA had 75.8 million revenue ton-miles in 1970. Anybody got figures for Flying Tiger or Seaboard World? (As of 15 May 1970 Exxon/Esso Air World said TMA had two CL44s and two 707-320C plus who knows how many recips-- Flying Tiger had 16 DC-8-63 and Seaboard had 11 DC-8-63 and one -55.)

(But maybe they weren't all-cargo?)

The top six US passenger airlines in 1970

UA 23.8 billion passenger-miles
TW 18.6
AA 18.2
PA 16.4
EA 14.7
DL 9.7

Those are from World Airline Record, which says they're all Domestic-International totals, but don't know whether they're scheduled ops only or charters too.

[Edited 2009-02-07 16:14:19]
 
ord
Posts: 1407
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:36 am



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 10):
UA had no other international routes until 1983 when they obtained rights SEA-NRT and SEA-HKG.

Not true. United began flying from Chicago to Cancun, Cozumel and Merida in Mexico in 1980. This was part of their "Sunbird" service.
 
DETA737
Posts: 618
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2000 3:47 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:42 am

Below are some figures for 1972 for U.S. carriers and below that for Western European carriers in 1971. I believe Eastern was #2 in passengers carried around this time.

Revenue Passenger Miles (in 000s)
1. United 26,953
2. TWA 24,273
3. Pan Am 21,957
4. American 20,607
5. Eastern 17,023
6. Delta 12,382
7. Western 5,996
8. Continental 5,789
9. National 5,556
10. Braniff 5,446
11. Northwest 5,053
12. Northeast 1,273

Revenue (in millions)
1. United 1,727
2. TWA 1,412
3. American 1,351
4. Pan Am 1,303
5. Eastern 1,161
6. Delta 878
7. Northwest 392
8. Braniff 371
9. National 367
10. Continental 366
11. Western 366
12. Northeast 87

1971
Revenue per seat km
1. BOAC 11,444
2. Air France 10,550
3. Lufthansa 8,610
4. Alitalia 8,497
5. Iberia 6,674
6. KLM 6,330
7. SAS 5,682
8. BEA 5,860
9. Swissair 5,001
10. TAP 2,772
11. Sabena 2,720
12. Olympic 2,343
13. UTA 2,098
14. Aer Lingus 1,787
15. British Caledonian 960
16. Finnair 818
17. Austrian 416
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:42 am



Quoting Timz (Reply 12):
According to that link TMA had 75.8 million revenue ton-miles in 1970. Anybody got figures for Flying Tiger or Seaboard World? (As of 15 May 1970 Exxon/Esso Air World said TMA had two CL44s and two 707-320C plus who knows how many recips-- Flying Tiger had 16 DC-8-63 and Seaboard had 11 DC-8-63 and one -55.)



Quoting Raffik (Reply 11):
They were the biggest cargo airline in the late sixties and early seventies in the world..



Comparing Flying Tiger and TMA fleets during the early 1970s, I can't see how TMA could have been bigger. For any year you pick in the 1970s, Flying Tiger had significantly more DC-8s than TMA had 707s, and FT DC-8s were stretched -63s with significantly greater cargo capacity than TMA's 707s. And in 1974 FT acquired their first 2 747s. By 1977 they had 7 747s. The TMA fleet lists in the link above only show TMA operating the 747 for one year, 1975.
 
timz
Posts: 6577
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:52 am

He never did say what criterion he was using for TMA. You remember how Air France used to say they were the world's largest airline-- I assume they were just adding up the total miles on their route map? Maybe the TMA claim is similar.

The link isn't working at the moment, but that 240 million tons of freight in 1974 (Reply 11) must actually be ton-miles or ton-km? 660,000 tons of freight a day would call for some fast loading.
 
DETA737
Posts: 618
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2000 3:47 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:53 am

I thought I'd add some lists. My data comes from IATA and ICAO publications, unfortunately the eastern block tended to be very secretive about information it seems. It's hard to say how big an airline is but here are the world's most profitable airlines in 1970:

Profit or loss per hour flown in 1970 (in U.S. $)
Iran Air 291
MEA 269
National Airlines 250
BOAC 232
Kuwait Airways 218
Tunis Air 207
Delta Air Lines 204
Air India 203
Austrian Airlines 196
Mexicana 196
Varig 192
Air Jamaica 183
TAP 173
Air New Zealand 171
Air Canada 158
CP Air 157
TMA (Lebanon) 147
Cyprus Airways 144
Braniff International 139
Swissair 137
Iberia 134
Malaysia Singapore Airlines 129
Air Madagascar 116
Western Airlines 115
TWA 110
Air Afrique 102
Thai International 102
BEA 99
Air France 97
Cruzeiro do Sul 91
Lufthansa 91
Qantas 89
Ethiopian Airlines 85
Royal Air Maroc 83
SAS 83
United Airlines 82
Avianca 79
Eastern Airlines 79
Northwest Orient Airlines 76
Ariana Afghani 69
Finnair 65
American Airlines 64
Alitalia 42
British Caledonian 29
Japan Air Lines 29
TAC (Thailand) 25
PIA 2

Unprofitable Airlines
Pan American Airways -4
Viasa -13
Luxair -14
UTA -14
Aer Lingus -18
Air Malawi -18
DETA Mozambique Airlines -34
Aeromexico -46
Alisandra -49
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines -50
LAV (Venezuela) -56
Zambia Airways -67
South African Airways -73
Aerolineas Argentinas -100
LAB -102
East African Airways -114
Saudia -163
LAN Chile -195
Itavia -205
Sabena -233
ALIA Royal Jordanian -273
Egyptair -263
Caribbean (USA) -471
Austral -613
Malev -706
Air Siam -832

Finally, here is a list from 1973 of the largest airlines in the non Communist world by revenue per km flown.

1. United 648,955
2. American 475,565
3. Eastern 464,410
4. TWA 462,100
5. Delta 372,696
6. Pan Am 365,100
7. Northwest Orient 186,213
8. Air Canada 182,571
9. British Airways- International Division (BOAC) 182,040
10. Air France 167,291
11. Lufthansa 162,173
12. Western 152,338
13. Braniff International 149,328
14. Allegheny 136,634
15. JAL 135,638
16. Continental 134,648
17. Alitalia 126,887
18. SAS 118,828
19. National 116,558
20. Iberia 115,720
21. KLM 109,87
22. British Airways European (BEA) 106,476
23. Swissair 82,563
24. Varig 78,238
25. Qantas 67,575
26. CP Air 56,689
27. Hughes Airwest 49,846
28. Sabena 49,157
29. South African Airways 48,158
30. North Central 47,328
31. Olympic Airways 44,149
32. AeroMexico 44,095
33. TAP 41,118
34. Texas International 36,957
35. Korean 32,875
36. Avianca 32,561
37. Finnair 32,261
38. Singapore Airlines 31,841
39. UTA 31,316
40. Mexicana 30,319
41. CSA 29,228
42. El Al 27,945
43. Aer Lingus 26,864
44. Cruzeiro do Sul 25,745
45. Seaboard World 25,465
46. THY 24,400
47. LOT 24,211
48. MEA 24,173
49. JAT 23,554
50. PIA 23,431
 
timz
Posts: 6577
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:56 am



Quoting DETA737 (Reply 14):
1971
Revenue per seat km

Revenue seat-km, you mean?
 
timz
Posts: 6577
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:59 am



Quoting DETA737 (Reply 17):
a list from 1973 of the largest airlines in the non Communist world by revenue per km flown.

Need to clarify the units on that one too.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:03 am



Quoting DETA737 (Reply 17):
Finally, here is a list from 1973 of the largest airlines in the non Communist world by revenue per km flown.

If you had used data from a year or two later, it would probably have shown British Airways (result of BOAC and BEA merger in 1974) a couple of positions higher in the ranking, assuming their RPKs would roughly equal the total of the pre-merger figures for each carrier in the 1973 list.
 
DETA737
Posts: 618
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2000 3:47 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:13 am

Sorry, forgot to mention that all revenue listed in USD. Also, its revenue seat km.
 
aviateur
Posts: 562
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:25 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:36 am

Aeroflot and CAAC (China) were the world's largest carriers up to the 1990s.

At its height, Aeroflot was roughly the size of all U.S. majors COMBINED -- though that was depending how you measured. In terms of number of aircraft they certainly were.


PS
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
raffik
Posts: 1563
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:50 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:46 am

Timz

Thieir turn arounds were quick. Tma not only operated 707s and 747s, they had a number of propeller models on regional routes as well and sub contracted flights to other airlines under the tma name. All cargo out of the middle east and all imports to the middle east was flown into Beirut and flown onwards to regional cities there. Check the link I posted earlier
- Alec
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:57 am



Quoting Aviateur (Reply 22):
At its height, Aeroflot was roughly the size of all U.S. majors COMBINED -- though that was depending how you measured. In terms of number of aircraft they certainly were.

However Aeroflot statistics in the Soviet era were hard to compare with airlines in the west since SU handled virtually everything involving non-military aviation in the Soviet Uniion, from cropdusting with An-2 biplanes to international passenger services. They had many divisions, almost operated as separate carriers but all under the Aeroflot name.
 
User avatar
zippyjet
Posts: 5110
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2001 3:32 pm

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:33 am

As USA airlines go, the big leaguers were in no particular order:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George W. Hamlin
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George W. Hamlin



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George W. Hamlin
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Wolodymir Nelowkin



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gerard Helmer



Gone but not forgotten! And back then they had their gimmicks
National: Fly me, I'm Muffy commercials
Branniff: The pshycadelic liveries in peacock colors by a designer named Pucci.
A lot of those large carriers advertised steak and theatre in the air. And of course in 1970 the "stewardess threads" were well on their way to barley there statu!  bouncy 
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
Atlanta
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:00 pm

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:41 pm



Quoting Zippyjet (Reply 25):

Northeast was a big leaguer? We couldn't even pay employees, how the hell was NE a big leaguer?

Atlanta
Welcome To The New Delta- The World's Largest Airline
 
bobnwa
Posts: 4514
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:10 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:15 pm



Quoting Raffik (Reply 23):
Check the link I posted earlier

The link you posted earlier dos not say a single word about TMA being the largest cargo carrier. Still waiting for the confirmation of that statement.

Quoting Raffik (Reply 5):
TMA was the largest cargo carrier in the world by tonnage carried plus largest fleet of aircraft
(B747s and B707s).

Others have already proved that Flying Tigers had more cargo aircraft.

What are your sources for your claims?
 
timz
Posts: 6577
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: 1970 Top 4 Airlines

Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:56 pm

Finally got to the library to look at Air Transp World for May 1971, which maybe explains the TMA puzzle: of the 120+ airlines for which they give stats, TMA is the only one that didn't show any revenue passenger-miles in 1970. So maybe they were the world's largest all-cargo airline in 1970, although lots of airlines had more cargo ton-miles than they.

Top ten airlines by revenue passenger miles 1970

SU 49.1 billion
UA 25.3
TW 20.0
PA 19.3
AA 18.2
EA 15.5
DL 9.7
AC 7.2
BOAC 6.7
AF 6.6

I guess these must include charter, while the rankings given earlier must not.
 
raffik
Posts: 1563
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:50 am

RE: In 1970 Who Was The Top 4 Largest Airlines

Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:37 pm

Hi Timz

Great job getting the data and clarification.

Hope that cheers Bobnwa up!
- Alec

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: LH658, smallmj, TheBambino25, TUGMASTER and 65 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos