National Flag Carriers

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National Flag Carriers

Search and buy flights on the flag carriers of the world with Alternative Airlines. Continue reading to discover more about national airlines below.

What is a national flag carrier?

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A flag carrier airline is an airline which is subsidised or owned by the country in which they are registered. The airline often seeks preferential rights or privileges by the government for international operations.

In the past, the term national airline or national carrier was known to be airlines which were owned by the government, and therefore associated with the national identity of the country. However, these days, it can refer to any airline with a strong connection to its home country, regardless of if it is government-owned. Therefore, not all flag carriers are owned by the government, as many have become private companies.

Flag carriers hold a certain amount of significance in the aviation industry, in terms of both financially and symbolically. Previously, the airlines that were owned by the government were considered great for international trade and national defence. Some passengers will still opt to fly with their national flag carrier for the sense of pride that it gives them when they see the familiar tail of the aircraft on the runway. Also, some passengers will sometimes choose to fly with flag carriers over other airlines, due to the image that they are safer and less likely to encounter financial difficulties.

What are the Flag Carriers of the world?

The table below summarises the flag carrier airlines, with the country that they are owned by and/or represent.

Afghanistan Ariana Afghan Airlines
Albania Air Albania
Algeria Air Algérie
Angola TAAG Angola Airlines
Argentina Aerolíneas Argentinas
Australia Qantas
Virgin Australia
Austria Austrian Airlines
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Airlines
Bahamas Bahamasair
Bahrain Gulf Air
Bangladesh Biman Bangladesh Airlines
Belarus Belavia
Belgium Brussels Airlines
Bhutan Druk Air
Bolivia Boliviana de Aviación
Botswana Air Botswana
Brunei Royal Brunei Airlines
Bulgaria Bulgaria Air
Burkina Faso Air Burkina
Burundi Air Burundi
Cambodia Cambodia Angkor Air
Cameroon Camair-Co
Canada Air Canada
Cape Verde TACV
Cayman Islands Cayman Airways
Chad Chadian Airlines
Chile LATAM Chile
China Air China
Colombia Avianca
Croatia Croatia Airlines
Cuba Cubana de Aviación
Czech Republic Czech Airlines
DR Congo Congo Airways
Scandinavian Airlines
Djibouti Air Djibouti
Ecuador TAME
Egypt EgyptAir
Equatorial Guinea CEIBA Intercontinental
Eritrea Eritrean Airlines
Estonia Nordica
Eswatini Eswatini Airlink
Ethiopia Ethiopian Airlines
Faroe Islands Atlantic Airways
Fiji Fiji Airways
Finland Finnair
France Air France
French Polynesia Air Tahiti Nui
Georgia Georgian Airways
Germany Lufthansa
Greece Aegean Airlines
Greenland Air Greenland
Guernsey Aurigny Air Services
Guyana Caribbean Airlines
Hong Kong Cathay Pacific
Iceland Icelandair
India Air India
Indonesia Garuda Indonesia
Ireland Aer Lingus
Iran Iran Air
Iraq Iraqi Airways
Israel El Al
Italy Alitalia
Ivory Coast Air Côte d'Ivoire
Jamaica Caribbean Airlines
Japan Japan Airlines
Jordan Royal Jordanian
Kazakhstan Air Astana
Kenya Kenya Airways
Kiribati Air Kiribati
Kuwait Kuwait Airways
Laos Lao Airlines
Latvia Air Baltic
Lebanon Middle East Airlines
Libya Afriqiyah Airways
Libyan Airlines
Luxembourg Luxair
Macau Air Macau
Madagascar Air Madagascar
Malawi Malawian Airlines
Malaysia Malaysia Airlines
Maldives Maldivian
Malta Air Malta
Marshall Islands Air Marshall Islands
Mauritania Mauritania Airlines
Mauritius Air Mauritius
Mexico Aeroméxico
Moldova Air Moldova
Mongolia MIAT Mongolian Airlines
Montenegro Montenegro Airlines
Morocco Royal Air Maroc
Mozambique LAM Mozambique Airlines
Myanmar Myanmar National Airlines
Namibia Air Namibia
Nauru Nauru Airlines
Nepal Nepal Airlines
Netherlands KLM
New Zealand Air New Zealand
North Korea Air Koryo
Oman Oman Air
Pakistan Pakistan International Airlines
Panama Copa Airlines
Papua New Guinea Air Niugini
Phiippines Philippine Airlines
Poland LOT Polish Airlines
Portugal TAP Air Portugal
Qatar Qatar Airways
Republic of the Congo Equatorial Congo Airlines
Réunion Air Austral
Romania TAROM
Russia Aeroflot
Rwanda Rwandair
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines SVG Air
Samoa Samoa Airways
São Tomé and Príncipe STP Airways
Saudi Arabia Saudia
Senegal Air Senegal
Serbia Air Serbia
Seychelles Air Seychelles
Solomon Islands Solomon Airlines
Singapore Singapore Airlines
Slovenia Adria Airways
South Africa South African Airways
South Korea Korean Air
Spain Iberia
Sri Lanka SriLankan Airlines
Sudan Sudan Airways
Suriname Surinam Airways
Switzerland Swiss International Air Lines
Syria Syrian Air
Taiwan China Airlines
Tanzania Air Tanzania
Thailand Thai Airways International
Trinidad and Tobago Caribbean Airlines
Tunisia Tunisair
Turkey Turkish Airlines
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan Airlines
Uganda Uganda Airlines
Ukraine Ukraine International Airlines
United Arab Emirates Etihad Airways
United Kingdom British Airways
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan Airways
Venezuela Conviasa
Vietnam Vietnam Airlines
Vanuatu Air Vanuatu
Yemen Yemenia
Zimbabwe Air Zimbabwe

Flag Carrier

What countries do not have a flag carrier?

Currently, the following sovereign countries do not have a national flag carrier airline:

  • Andorra
  • Barbados
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Liberia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Micronesia
  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • Tuvalu
  • United States
  • Vatican City

Why does the USA not have a flag carrier?

The USA used to have an unofficial flag carrier, Pan American World Airways, from 1927. However, in 1991, the airline experienced bankruptcy and so ceased operations. This also coincided with the deregulation of airlines in 1978, which meant airlines in the United States increased, meaning more competition of domestic and regional airlines.

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