An airline is a company operator providing air transport facilities to carry passengers and freights across the world. An airline primarily comprises pilots, reservation agents, cleaners, caterers, passengers, hostesses/attendants, loaders.
Airlines vary in size and structure. Some acquire the aircraft for offering special services while others take on lease for a particular time period wherein they hire staff members from other companies.
It is usually scheduled from one place to another. Airlines constitute a vital role in the travel industry, worldwide. They often use jets and helicopters in making the journey flexible and accessible.
Many times, people understand the airline industry and aviation as synonymous, which is not the case. It is important to note that the airline industry means companies that provide air transport services to paying customers or for cargo services, whereas the aviation industry consists of all aviation-related businesses such as aircraft manufacturers, companies providing non-commercial flights, regulation authorities, aerospace companies and others.
Following are the types of airlines
1) International airlines: They are a team of the largest, prominent and effective airlines which make billions in revenue annually, and run large passenger jets. These airlines emphasise their endeavours on providing global services, ferrying human travellers and freight over huge distances to reach the destination. They place tens of thousands of people, often have numerous hubs and will offer access to hundreds of places across the globe. Examples: Delta Air Lines, Emirates, American Airlines, British Airways and others.
2) National airlines: They indicate the next step down from the largest international airlines. They provide both medium-sized and large-sized jets and emphasise on facilities to areas within their home or the country’s boundaries but many will offer services to international destinations too. A national airline would place thousands of people but will have a minuscule fleet size. The destination flights are dominated by seasonal fluctuations in demand in most cases. The Indian airlines include Vistara, Indigo, Air India and others.
3) Regional Airlines: They are the smallest among all three and emphasise on facilities within particular regions, limited distance and time. They offer passenger services to various parts of the world with not so high levels of demand where services are not provided by either national or international airlines. Some regional airlines also operate as an affiliate for a national or international airline. Considering this, they provide connection flights from the area or specific place they cover to the airline’s primary hub centres.
4) Cargo airlines: Cargo airlines are also called air freight carriers. These are the airlines that are either individually or mainly emphasised on the air transportation of cargo or freight. For instance, cargo airlines like Emirates SkyCargo and Lufthansa Cargo are subsidiaries or sub-divisions of airlines that also provide passenger services. Cargo airlines are extended into integrated cargo carriers and traditional cargo carriers. When it comes to integrated cargo, all features of cargo transportation are monitored by the company, comprising the ground or non-flight elements. Examples of airlines that would be suitable for the integrated cargo are FedEx Express, UPS Airlines and others.