Qantas and Emirates Emerge as Australia?s Most Favored International Carriers

31st May 2014

The national flag carrier and its Gulf partner airline came out on top as the country's most favored carriers in 2013.

Emirates and Singapore Airlines basically switched positions as the latter came at second place, while the former occupied the third spot during the previous year. The ranking by BITRE was based on the number of passengers carried by the carriers over the 12-month period.

Last year, the passenger volume carried by Emirates surged by 16.7%, while that of Singapore Airlines posted a measly 3.3% increase over the same period in 2012.

Qantas retained its comfortable position at the leaderboard in 2013 primarily due to the number of flights available to passengers flying in and out of the continent. During the period, it managed to post a modest 1.4% increase over the previous year, keeping a sizable 17% market share in international air travel.

Kiwi's national flag carrier, Air New Zealand, occupied the fourth spot, snaring a decent 7.8% market share in 2013, racking up 2.8% increase over the previous period.

Local carriers, Virgin Australia and Jetstar, tied for fifth place posting an identical 7.7% market share during the period, as they suffered an average of 1.6% drop in the numbers of passengers carried.

Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines trailed behind at 7th and 8th place with 4.5% and 4.1% market share, respectively. AirAsia X and Thai Airways made it to the top 10 list, occupying the last two spots.

Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based and national flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, failed to barge in to the circle of ten as it only carried a little over 642,760 passengers, or 2.1% share, during the same period, good for 12th position.

Etihad is looking at launching its direct Perth-Abu Dhabi service next month. The Gulf-based carrier will use a jumbo A380 service in one of its two Sydney-Abu Dhabi flights. The airline is hoping that with the upcoming service improvement, it will finally make it to the list.

Etihad is a partner airline of Virgin Australia through equity ownership by the Gulf carrier. It is a small player in terms of passenger volume it carries between Australia and overseas. Overall, Gulf's three major carriers flying to Australia had a combined market share of 11.5%.