Emirates airline was the world's fourth-busiest carrier in the world in terms of total scheduled passenger kilometres flown carrying 289 million travellers last year, according to figures from the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
The first three positions have been held by US carriers American Airlines (324 million), Delta Air Lines (316.3 million) and United Airlines (311 million). Another US-based, carrier, Southwest Airlines, is at fifth.
Emirates and flydubai last year joined hands and signed a codeshare deal that has helped both benefit from each other's growing network. This deal improved efficiency and also increased passenger numbers.
Similarly, Dubai's carrier was the world's second-largest airline after Federal Express for cargo for scheduled freight tonne kilometres flown in 2017, carrying 12.7 billion tonnes last year compared to 16.9 billion by first-placed FedEx.
Globally, airlines carried 4.1 billion passengers on scheduled services, an increase of 7.3 per cent over 2016, representing an additional 280 million trips by air. Worldwide, annual air passengers exceeded four billion for the first time as airlines connected a record number of cities, providing regular services to over 20,000 city pairs in 2017, more than double in 1995.
The Asia-Pacific region controls a 36.3 per cent market share with 1.5 billion passengers carried last year, an increase of 10.6 per cent over the previous year. Europe came second with 26.3 per cent market share with 1.1 billion passengers, up 8.2 per cent.
North America holds a 23 per cent market share with 941.8 million passengers, Latin America commands 7 per cent with 286.1 million travellers and Africa holds 2.2 per cent with 88.5 million passengers.
The Middle East region controls a 5.3 per cent market share with 216.1 million, an increase of 4.6 per cent over 2016.
"In 2000, the average citizen flew just once every 43 months. In 2017, the figure was once every 22 months. Flying has never been more accessible. And this is liberating people to explore more of our planet for work, leisure and education. Aviation is the business of freedom," said Alexandre de Juniac, director-general and chief executive officer of the Iata.
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