Biggest Airlines in Europe

A lot is happening in the European aviation sector. So here are the largest airlines in Europe by passenger count!
9. Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA
Passengers in 2019: 36.9 million
Known as "Norwegian" for every sensible person, this is the third largest low cost airline in Europe, the largest airline in Scandinavia and the ninth largest low cost airline in the world.
It started in 1993 as a replacement for Busy Bee, which is a surprising name for a Norwegian airline mainly engaged in regional work.
8. Wizz Air
Passengers in 2019: 39.6 million
The Hungarian miracle, Wizz Air is a relatively new boy in the neighborhood, who only appeared on the scene in 2003. Wizz Air's largest hub is located in Budapest, which serves 60 destinations. Although the airline is primarily interested in European travel, it has also found its way to the Middle East and North Africa.
7. Aeroflot Group
Passengers in 2019: 60.7 million
The official name is "PJSC Aeroflot - Russian Airlines." It is, unsurprisingly, the largest airline in Russia and the flag carrier of the country. Aeroflot is also one of the oldest surviving airlines, dating back to 1923. In Soviet times, it was the largest airline in the world.
Today Aeroflot has several subsidiaries under its wing: Aurora, Pobeda, Rossiya Airlines. The subsidiaries underwent many mergers and other changes before they reached their current state.
6. Turkish Airlines
Passengers in 2019: 74.2 million
When Turkish Airlines was founded in 1933, it only had one plane that could seat more than five people - it was that long ago. Today it is still the flag carrier of Turkey. In August 2019, Turkish Airlines became the largest airline in the world by number of destinations - 315 in total. With flights to 126 countries, it also serves more countries than any other airline in the world. Turkish Airlines is now a member of the Star Alliance.
5. Air France-KLM
Passengers in 2019: 87.6 million
Fittingly, Air France was created in 1933 after a merger of several airline companies, one of which had operated since 1919. It's quite important these days, with a fleet of 224 planes serving 201 one destination. Its subsidiaries are Air France and Transavia France (the budget airline).
Legally known as KLM is the Dutch flag company. It is also the oldest airline in the world that still operates under its original name. The subsidiaries include airlines that provide freight services, as well as a Transavia subsidiary.
4. EasyJet
Passengers in 2019: 96.1 million
The humble beginnings were that easyJet operated two wet-leased Boeing 737-200 flight routes in the UK. After getting the first real aircraft in 1996, easyJet immediately went international and competed with British Airways and KLM. Apparently that was the right move.
When the time came for expansion, easyJet bought several other airlines. One of them was transformed into easyJet Switzerland, a Swiss subsidiary. However, EasyJet Europe was fully built. This is based in Vienna.
3. International Airlines Group
Passengers in 2019: 118.2 million
International Airlines Group (IAG) is the powerful holding company with British Airways and Iberia as subsidiaries.
The ranks of IAG subsidiaries also include airlines such as Aer Lingus, AirEuropa, Anisec Luftfahrt, IAG Cargo, LEVEL, Vueling and Avios Group. While the airlines all operate under different brands, the entire group serves approximately 200 destinations worldwide.
2. Lufthansa
Passengers in 2019: 145.1 million
Lufthansa was first founded in Berlin in 1926 and has been a major player in the European aviation market ever since.
In addition to being an airline itself, Lufthansa also owns Austrian airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and Germanwings subsidiaries. The total combined fleet would reach 700 aircraft. Lufthansa was one of the founders when Star Alliance, the largest airline alliance, was founded in 1997.

1. Ryanair
Passengers in 2019: 152.4 million
Ryanair, the king of European low cost airlines, actually dates back to 1984. It grew bigger after the European aviation market faced deregulation in 1997, quickly filling the niche of cheap flights.
Despite serving only 38 countries, Ryanair carries more international passengers than any other airline. Ryanair has sister companies in Ryanair UK, Ryanair Sun, Malta Air and Lauda.