Source: IATA, World Air Transport Statistics.
World's 10 Largest Passengers and Freight Airlines, 2010
Significant differences exist between passenger and air carriers. Because of the large amount of domestic traffic generated within the United States and Europe, the world's top passenger carriers are American and European. Through mergers, Delta (with Northwest in 2010) and United (with Continental in 2010) were able to become the world's largest passenger airlines. Air transport has also boomed in China, with Chinese carriers starting to appear among the world's largest. It is also relevant to underline low cost carriers such as Southwest in the United States and Ryanair in Europe that were able to achieve preeminence.
Among the world's largest freight airlines market dominance is achieved by two specialized carriers; UPS and Federal Express. Their fleet is entirely devoted to cargo operations and they provide a function of cargo integration through dedicated hubs such as Louisville (UPS) and Memphis (Fedex). Asian freight carriers also play a significant role (e.g. Cathay Pacific, Korean Airlines), benefiting from the growth of high tech exports from Asian economies to European and North American markets.