Analysis: The most popular airlines in 2021

What do people really think of airlines? This is shown by the analysis of the most popular airlines in 2021 by aeroTELEGRAPH and the brand analysis company Adwired.

Which airlines have the best reputations? AeroTELEGRAPH wanted to know. Together with the brand analysis company Adwired, we started the first in-depth analysis to find out what people actually think about airlines. The result is a meaningful ranking of the most popular airlines, which will be published annually in the future.

The aeroTELEGRAPH and Adwired method differs significantly from all others who also rate airlines. Usually it is juries that award points based on transparent or less transparent criteria. Or passengers are interviewed randomly and usually not regularly. Neither of these approaches gives results that show what people are really thinking.

Some increased despite the pandemic

To analyze the most popular airlines, Adwired evaluates comments on around 40 airline brands in the public media – i.e. newspapers, online portals and social media such as Twitter or Facebook. Over 460 million media sources are viewed every day. It is more or less a look over the shoulder of the user, capturing their true sympathy and antipathy values ​​for airlines. Then these are divided into three dimensions, which include things like competence, punctuality, price level or friendliness. These three partial values ​​are then combined into a total value, where 100 would be the perfect rating *.

The result of the 2021 evaluation contains a few surprises. There are some airlines that, despite the pandemic, have been able to improve with canceled flights and trouble with repayments. Swiss made the strongest move, up 15 percent to 48 points. It climbed from rank 33 to rank 14. “The crisis has not yet been overcome, but Swiss creates confidence through responsible leadership. That goes down well with the various stakeholder groups, ”says Nik Stucky, Managing Partner of Adwired. Emirates has also improved significantly and is now in first place with 62 points. In general, the golf airlines are way ahead in the ranking of the most popular airlines in 2021.

It’s about more than just price and service

It is surprising, however, that full-service providers do not lead the ranking list alone. Eurowings is also one of the winners. The Lufthansa subsidiary grew by 7 percent and is now in second place. This shows that there are definitely more criteria for consumers than just price and service. “Reliable brands, combined with flexible point-to-point concepts, are well positioned in the pandemic and the uncertainty that it brings with it for travelers,” says brand expert Stucky. Southwest, Wizz, Ryanair and Easyjet are also among the top twenty. Asian airlines are among the losers.

In general, the differences between the individual airlines are not huge. There is a difference of 13 points between rank 1 and rank 10. This also shows how competitive the aviation industry is now. Concepts that prove themselves in one place are copied in the other – across traditional boundaries. Today, low-cost airlines are doing things that only network providers used to do – and vice versa.

The full results with ranks 1 to 40 of the most popular airlines in 2021 can be found here.

* More about the method

With the vision of providing up-to-date and objective information immediately, Adwired developed the brand analysis platform BrandTicker, the methodology of which is now ISO 10668 certified. The application is based on artificial intelligence and uses social media, as well as online and print media, to measure how companies and brands are actually talked about and thus calculates various indices.

The media, especially social media, are a valuable source for receiving the perception, opinion and assessments of the various stakeholder groups about companies and brands. The analysis of this media is based on an automated full-text search algorithm that searches over 460 million media sources every day. The statements and comments related to the brand are collected systematically.

A media report could read, for example: “Lufthansa (the brand) is continuously treading innovative (the qualification) paths in sustainable mobility (the topic)”. This is a typical statement that assigns a topic “sustainable mobility” to the brand and qualifies it as “innovative”. Brands, topics and qualifications are analyzed in different ways and output in statistical form. Negative statements are subtracted from the positive statements and put in relation to all statements in order to be able to compare small with large brands

The media performance index is a comprehensive evaluation of your brand in relation to around 1000 brands. The various performance indicators are evaluated daily and evaluated in the immediate context of around 1000 brands. The result is a relative score which, on a scale from 0 to 100, results in a system of indicators that can be compared with one another and an easily understandable measure of quality. Because only broad benchmarking against other brands gives a clear picture of your own media performance. This standardization enables the performance indicators to be compared with one another as well as between the selected brands.

These three dimensions of perception are analyzed statistically and evaluated on a daily basis:
Expediency: How expediently is the airline’s offer perceived – for example in terms of pricing or efficiency?
Reliability: Does the airline enjoy a reputation for high reliability – for example in terms of punctuality or competence?
Service Quality: What service quality does society expect – for example in terms of friendliness or customer orientation?

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