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Top 10 world's largest airline companies

1. United Continental: 181,939 million The United Airlines/Continental

1. United Continental: 181,939 million


The United Airlines/Continental Airlines merger resulted in a change in visual branding for the new global airline. (Aug. 11, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

A series of mergers over the last decade has created a group of mega-airlines that reach almost every corner of the globe. Here are the world's largest airline companies based on the number of miles their passengers flew in 2010, according to AP calculations on International Air Transport Association data:

10. Qantas Airways: 62,082 million A Qantas airplane
Photo Credit: Getty Images

10. Qantas Airways: 62,082 million

A Qantas airplane takes off at Melbourne Airport. (Oct. 31, 2011)

9. China Southern Airlines: 68,689 million China Southern
Photo Credit: Getty Images

9. China Southern Airlines: 68,689 million

China Southern Airlines' new Airbus A380 takes off from the Airbus delivery center in Colomiers, southwestern France. (Oct. 14, 2011)

8. Emirates: 89,266 million A formation of nine
Photo Credit: AP

8. Emirates: 89,266 million

A formation of nine Royal Air Force Red Arrows Hawk aircraft fly alongside a Boeing 777 aircraft on the occasion of the Dubai Airshow in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Nov. 14, 2007)

7. Southwest, AirTran: 97,360 million A Southwest Airlines
Photo Credit: AP

7. Southwest, AirTran: 97,360 million

A Southwest Airlines jetliner takes off from Denver International Airport in east Denver. (Sept. 27, 2007)

6. British Airways, Iberia: 97,384 million A British
Photo Credit: AP

6. British Airways, Iberia: 97,384 million

A British Airways plane lands at Terminal 4 of London's Heathrow Airport. (Jan. 29, 2007)

5. Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian: 108,811 million An Airbus
Photo Credit: AP

5. Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian: 108,811 million

An Airbus 380-800 of the German airline Lufthansa is landing at the airport in Schwechat. (Oct, 12, 2011)

4. Air France, KLM: 125,043 million An Airbus
Photo Credit: AP

4. Air France, KLM: 125,043 million

An Airbus A330-200 jetliner from the French company Air France is shown against a deep blue sky.

3. American Airlines: 125,443 million An American Airlines
Photo Credit: AP

3. American Airlines: 125,443 million

An American Airlines plane sits at a gate at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport. (Nov. 29, 2011)

2. Delta Air Lines: 165,900 million Pictured: A
Photo Credit: AP

2. Delta Air Lines: 165,900 million

Pictured: A Delta Air Lines McDonnell Douglas MD-88 takes off from Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Fla. (April 22, 2008)

1. United Continental: 181,939 million The United Airlines/Continental
Photo Credit: AP

1. United Continental: 181,939 million


The United Airlines/Continental Airlines merger resulted in a change in visual branding for the new global airline. (Aug. 11, 2010)

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