American Overtakes Delta As Busiest Airline in the World

American Overtakes Delta As Busiest Airline in the World
Photo Credit: Lewis Chesworth/AviationSource

American Airlines has this week overtaken rival Delta Air Lines in becoming the busiest airline in the world at the moment.

Using data from, AviationSource has been able to ascertain the carrier’s sharp rise to the #1 spot.

Without further ado, let’s get into the numbers…

American Airlines Pushing Close to 5,000 Weekly Movements…

American Overtakes Delta As Busiest Airline in the World
Data provided by

For May 9-16, American Airlines handled 4,852 movements, which is an increase of 0.17% compared to the same period last year.

Such a figure is a staggering 1,703 weekly movements ahead of the same period in 2019, which we dub as pre-pandemic.

Below is the last four weeks’ worth of data for the carrier:

Date2019 Numbers2022 Numbers2023 NumbersPercentage Difference (2023 vs. 2022)
April 11-183276 movements4778 movements4757 movements-0.44%
April 18-253497 movements4867 movements4707 movements-3.29%
April 25-May 23097 movements4844 movements4667 movements-3.65%
May 2-93163 movements4845 movements4699 movements-3.01%

While there are percentage drops for 2023 vs. 2022, May 9-16’s figure gets American Airlines ever that closer to achieving 5,000 weekly movements, which is something well in itself.

What Does The Top 10 Look Like Currently?

American Overtakes Delta As Busiest Airline in the World
Data provided by

As we can see from the image above, American Airlines has overtaken Delta to take the top spot of being the most active airline in the world based on seven-day rolling averages.

The list is as follows:

  1. American Airlines – 4,702 daily movements.
  2. Delta Air Lines – 4,531 daily movements.
  3. Southwest Airlines – 3,983 daily movements.
  4. United Airlines – 3,603 daily movements.
  5. Ryanair – 2,948 daily movements.
  6. China Eastern Airlines – 2,124 daily movements.
  7. China Southern Airlines – 2,078 daily movements.
  8. IndiGo – 1,799 daily movements.
  9. Turkish Airlines – 1,718 daily movements.
  10. Beijing Airlines – 1,533 daily movements.

The fight between America & Delta is quite fierce, with Delta’s May 9-16 numbers coming in at 4,783 movements based once again on the seven-day rolling average.

This offers a gap of around 69 movements, which could very well be found further into the Summer 2023 season we go.


The Summer 2023 season is going to be very unique this year. This is because we can expect to see that Top 10 shift and change week by week.

As for American Airlines, all eyes are on the carrier to see how long they can sustain this #1 top spot throughout this busy period.

Delta Air Lines will no doubt need to operate some more flights in order to snatch that top spot off its fierce rival.

But for now, let’s see how the rest of the Summer goes.

By James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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