The aviation industry is an interesting one, with secrets that many don’t know or don’t pay attention to but are quite fascinating. Even more so, some of the biggest airlines in the world have their own intriguing facts and figures that we’ve dug around the Internet for in order to find the best ones.

How much do you know about the largest airlines in the world? Let’s take a look at the top five biggest airlines (ranked in terms of volume of passenger miles) and insights that no one ever thinks about.

1st: American Airlines

American Airlines is at the top of the list as it flew 201 million scheduled passenger miles in 2017. Additionally, the airline was the second most profitable airline, with $42.2 billion USD in revenue for 2017, behind Lufthansa which made $42.61 billion USD last year. Other fun facts about American Airlines include:

• Operates an average of 6,700 flights a day
• Flies to more than 350 destinations in 50 countries
• Dave Harris was the first African-American pilot to fly a commercial airline (American Airlines) in 1964
• Bonnie Tiburzi was the first woman to become a pilot for a commercial airline (American Airlines) in 1973
• American Airlines, originally named American Airways, was established 92 years ago on 15 April 1926
• American Airlines had a piano lounge onboard their planes in the 1970s for travelers to enjoy, although the piano needed a lot of repairs due to the fact that passengers spilled their drinks on it while they danced, sang and partied

2nd: Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines stands in second place. It flew 196 million scheduled passenger miles in 2017, with a profit of $41.24 billion USD. Other fun facts about Delta Air Lines include:

• Operates more than 15,000 flights a day
• Flies to 304 destinations in 52 countries
• Established as The Huff Daland Dusters on 30 May 1924 before it became Delta Air Lines in 1945
• Delta became the first airline in the US to have a moving flights route displayed inside the cabin
• Delta was the first airline to prohibit smoking on any flight in 1995
• Delta’s logo is called “The Widget”, established in 1959

3rd: United Airlines

In third place is United Airlines, which flew 193 million scheduled passenger miles last year, and had a yearly profit of $37.73 billion USD. Aside from flying to the most destinations than any other airline, here are some other intriguing facts that you may not have known about:

• Operates an average of 4,700 flights per day
• Flies to 356 destinations across 48 countries
• Has a fleet of 760 planes
• The first flight was on 6 April 1926 from Pasco, Washington to Boise, Idaho
• The company was first created as Varney Air Lines in 1926 and Varney Speed Lines in 1934, which then became United Airlines and Continental Airlines
• First airline to provide in-flight dining by developing a kitchen inside the plane
• Continental Airlines was the first to provide live in-flight television
• First airline to fly to all 50 US States in 1984
• First airline to fly the Boeing 777

4th: Emirates Airlines

Number four is Emirates Airlines, the largest carrier that’s not from the US, which flew 179 million scheduled passenger miles in 2017, with an end-of-the-year profit of $27.9 billion USD. Aside from being known as a luxury airline with showers and a bar onboard their A380s, accessible to premium-paying passengers, Emirates has a few other interesting facts:

• Operates an average of 3,600 flights a week
• Flies to 155 destinations in 83 countries
• Emirates is a relatively new airline, founded on 25 March 1985, with the first flight taking off from Dubai and landing in Karachi
• First airline on Earth to have entertainment systems in the back of each seat in 1992
• The only airline in the world that has the largest fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777
• It’s one of the major airlines not part of any airline alliance
• Unlike the other airlines in the top five, Emirates is the only governmentally owned airline

5th: Southwest Airlines

Interestingly enough, the airline known for having cheap airfare is also in the top five biggest airlines, which flew 129 million scheduled passenger miles with a revenue of $21.17 billion USD in 2017. Other key facts about Southwest Airlines includes:

• Flies to 99 destinations across 10 countries (not including the US)
• Operates an average of 4,000 flights a day
• Founded on 15 March 1967 as Air Southwest, and became Southwest Airlines in 1971
• The first flight for Southwest Airlines was between Dallas and San Antonio
• Southwest Airlines has a fleet size of 746 planes
• For the first nine years it was in service, Southwest Airlines only flew to three cities
• First carrier to have an airline website, which they called “Southwest Airlines Home Gate”, offering passengers up-to-date flight information in 1995 (although they couldn’t use it to check in, yet)
• It only purchases one airplane type, the Boeing 737

Did any of these facts and figures surprise you? How much did you already know?