Source: IATA, World Air Transport Statistics
World's 10 Largest International Air Carriers, 2008
Many of the largest international air carriers emerged as companies servicing colonial empires and dependencies (British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, American Airlines and KLM). The networks they inherited gave them an advantage to expand their international services as air transportation boomed in the 1960s and 1970s. Other large air carriers have emerged in globally connected environments where national markets are either nonexistent (Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Emirates) or geographically small (Japan).