Top 10 Airlines Take $35.2 Billion from Ancillary Revenue

Top 10 Airlines Take $35.2 Billion from Ancillary Revenue

Every year IdeaWorksCompany searches for disclosures of financial results that qualify as ancillary revenue for airlines all over the globe. Annual reports, investor presentations, financial press releases, and quotes attributed to senior executives all qualify as sources in the data collection process.

These results are contained in the new report, 2018 Top 10 Airline Ancillary Revenue Rankings. Of the nearly 150 airlines reviewed, 70+ reveal figures related to ancillary revenue. The following is a sampling of the 2018 financial year results found in the report.

Back in 2007 the top 10 airlines, as rated by total ancillary revenue, generated $2.1 billion. Fast forward to 2018 and the top 10 tally has leapt more than 16X.

  • The top ‘% of revenue’ producer for Europe & Russia was Wizz Air at 41.1%, for the Americas it was Viva  Aerobus at 47.6%, for Asia & South Pacific, AirAsia at 29%; the Middle East/Africa region did not make the top 10 ranking.
  • The top performing US-based airlines as a group achieved revenue of more than $17.5 billion from frequent flyer programmes, that’s an average of $25 per passenger.
  • Top ‘ancillary revenue per passenger’, mostly from a la carte activities, by global regions: $43.91 (Europe & Russia), Spirit $50.94 (Americas), and Virgin Australia $34.74 (Asia & South Pacific).  The Middle East/Africa region did not make the top 10 ranking.

Aileen McCormack, Chief Commercial Officer, Car Trawler, said: “The exponential growth of ancillary revenue among carriers is yet another indication that the airline experience now goes far beyond the flight itself. Customers want choice for every part of their journey and need a one-stop-shop to get them from door to door, not just from airport to airport. It is crucial that airlines ‘own the last mile’ and offer customers everything they are looking for, wherever they are in the world. Mobility is king in the travel marketplace, and airlines need to take advantage of the opportunity they have at the top of the purchasing funnel to maximise revenues from this trillion-dollar marketplace and not get left behind by their competitors.”

To view results for the top 10 airlines in three categories (overall ancillary revenue, as a percentage of company revenue, and on a per passenger basis), visit or for the new 15-page report.

The results for all 70+ disclosing airlines will be released in September 2019 as the 12th annual CarTrawler Yearbook of Ancillary Revenue by IdeaWorksCompany (100+ pages). A companion release, scheduled for November 2019, will use these results to extrapolate total ancillary revenue generated by 180 airlines around the world.

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Michael Flood is the Editor of Ireland's leading travel industry publication, Irish Travel Trade News. With more than 35 years experience, he has accumulated an in-depth knowledge of the airline industry and the travel and tourism world.

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