Source: IATA. Carriers are listed by rank in traffic.
Market Share of World Airline Traffic, 2005
Until the 1980s, airline companies were strongly regulated by governments with protected routes and the prevention of foreign ownership. With deregulation initiated in the United States in the 1980s, a reorganization of the airline industry has occurred. The main trend involves alliances between airline companies to the point that some have almost merged. Most large airlines, and many smaller ones, have joined alliances in order to broaden their market presence commensurate with a global economy. In 1998, about 500 alliance deals existed between airline companies, Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam being the most important (17%, 24% and 21% of the market share respectively). The largest airline not part of one of the big three alliances is Japan Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Emirates.