News from OpenFlights, the site for flight logging, mapping, stats and sharing

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State of the Data: One million flights!

Calloo, callay, what a frabjous day!  On December 11, 2011, the number of flights entered into OpenFlights crossed the one million mark.  It’s quite a milestone, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for making it possible.  It took just over a year to double the flight count from 500,000, so let’s see what has changed since then.

Top 10 Airlines

Airline 500k rank World rank
1 United/Continental 1 (+2) 1
2 Lufthansa 2 5
3 Delta/Northwest 3 (-2) 2
4 American Airlines 4 4
5 Air France-KLM 5 8
6 British Airways 7 (+1) ?
7 Ryanair 8 (+1) ?
8 US Airways 9 (+1) 7
9 Scandinavian 10 (+1) 10
10 Qantas new ?

Yet another mega-merger brings United/Continental to the top in both IATA’s 2010 stats and on OpenFlights, beating Lufthansa by a hair and pushing reigning champion Delta/Northwest back into 3rd place.  But the rest of the list, astonishingly, is static: since Continental was swallowed by United, its newly freed slot pulls up everybody below #5 up a notch and squeaks Qantas back onto the board at #10 after a near-three-year hiatus, but their ordering is the same.

So who’s missing?  World #2 Southwest continues to be disdained by OpenFlyers, who rank it at #20, a notch down from the previous #19.   Perhaps emboldened by our recent launch in Chinese, new world #6 China Southern Airlines has climbed up six spots but remains distant at #43, with world #9 China Eastern Airlines (world #9)  pipping it by one place to #42

A statistical sidenote: on OpenFlights, we figure out airlines from flight numbers, so regional affiliates not using their parents’ codes are not going to show up here.  Since all the majors have their own sidelines, I figure they’re all disadvantaged more or less equally, and this thus probably doesn’t make a huge difference.

Top 10 Airports

Airport 250k rank World rank
1 Frankfurt Main (FRA) 1 9
2 London-Heathrow (LHR) 2 3
3 Chicago Ohare Intl (ORD) 3 4
4 Munchen (MUC) 5 (+1) 26
5 Charles de Gaulle (CDG) 4 (-1) 6
6 Los Angeles Intl (LAX) 6 5
7 Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS) 7 14
8 Atlanta-Hartsfield (ATL) 8 1
9 New York-John F Kennedy Intl (JFK) 9 16
10 San Francisco Intl (SFO) 10 22

No change in the top three, with Frankfurt still reigning supreme, and the rest of the list has remained static as well with the sole exception of Teutonic flyers pushing Munich back up to #4, above Charles de Gaulle.  World #2 Beijing only makes it to #24 on OpenFlights, and still no sign of newly international Haneda, although Narita shows up at #40.

And now for something a little different:

Top 3 Airlines and Airports By Language

Language Share Top 3 airlines Top 3 airports
1 English 76.5% United, Lufthansa, Delta LHR, FRA, ORD
2 Russian 7.8% Aeroflot, S7, Transaero SVO, DME, LED
3 German 7.5% Lufthansa, Air Berlin, Ryanair FRA, MUC, DUS
4 French 3.1% Air France, Lufthansa, Air Austral CDG, ORY, LYS
5 Polish 1.2% LOT Polish, Ryanair, Lufthansa WAW, KRK, KTW
6 Portuguese (Brazilian) 1.1% BRA, TAM, GOL GRU, CGH, BSB
7 Spanish 0.9% Iberia, Ryanair, Alitalia MAD, BCN, ALC
8 Finnish 0.8% Finnair, Lufthansa, Blue1 HEL, FRA, ARN
9 Swedish 0.5% SAS Scandinavian, KLM, Lufthansa ARN, CPH, GOT
10 Chinese (Mandarin) 0.4% Air China, China Southern, China Eastern PEK, SHA, SZX

Splitting up the flight database by the user’s preferred language, it’s surprising (or, on second thought, perhaps not?) how local flying still is: for Russians, Germans, French, Poles, Brazilians, Spaniards and Chinese, all three top airports are in the language’s home country.  The only international hubs that sneaks onto others’ lists are Frankfurt and Stockholm-Arlanda for the Finns and, oddly, Frankfurt for English-speakers as well — presumably simply because many of OpenFlights’ German users have not switched their language.  On the airline side, for every language the flag carrier of the home country dominates, but this time Lufthansa sneaks onto 4 lists outside Germany and Ryanair isn’t far behind at 3.

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Last and least, in less happy news, we have finally put our long-ailing Facebook app out of its misery.  Ideas for what should replace it are welcome, and work is ever-so-slowly continuing on TripIt integration.

To infinity and beyond,