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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.


Afganistán Ariana Afghan Airlines
Albania Air Albania
Argelia Air Algérie
Angola Taag angola airlines
Argentina Aerolíneas Argentinas
Australia Qantas
Virgin Australia
Austria Austrian Airlines
Azerbaiyán Aerolíneas de Azerbaiyán
Bahamas Bahamasair
Bahrain Gulf Air
Bangladesh Biman Bangladesh Airlines
Belarus belavia
Bélgica Brussels Airlines
Bhutan Aire druk
Bolivia Boliviana de aviación
Botswana Air Botswana
Brunei Royal Brunei Airlines
Bulgaria Bulgaria Air
Burkina Faso Air Burkina
Burundi Air Burundi
Camboya Cambodia Angkor Air
Camerún Camair-co
Canadá Air Canada
Cape Verde TACV
Cayman Islands Cayman airways
Chad Chadian Airlines
Chile LATAM Chile
China Air China
Colombia Avianca
Croacia Aerolíneas de croacia
Cuba Cubana de Aviación
Czech Republic Aerolíneas checas
DR Congo Congo Airways
Scandinavian Airlines
Djibouti Aire Djibouti
Ecuador Domar
Egypt Egyptair
Guinea Ecuatorial Ceiba intercontinental
Eritrea aerolíneas eritreas
Estonia nordica
Eswatini Eswatini Airlink
Etiopía Ethiopian Airlines
Islas Faroe Atlantic Airways
Fiji Fiji Airways
Finland finnair
France Air France
Polinesia francés Air Tahiti Nui
Georgia Georgian Airways
Alemania lufthansa
Greece Aegean airlines
Tierra Verde Air Greenland
Guernsey Aurigny Air Services
Guyana Caribbean Airlines
Hong Kong Cathay Pacific
Iceland Icelandair
India Air india
Indonesia Garuda indonesia
Irlanda Aer Lingus
Corrí Iran Air
Irak Iraqi Airways
Israel El Al
Italia Alitalia
Costa de Marfil Air Côte d'Ivoire
Jamaica Caribbean Airlines
Japan Líneas aéreas de Japón
Jordan Real jordano
Kazajistán Air Astana
Kenya Kenya airways
Kiribati Air Kiribati
Kuwait Kuwait Airways
Laos Lao Airlines
Letonia Air Baltic
Líbano Aerolíneas de oriente medio
Libya Afriqiyah Airways
Libyan Airlines
Luxembourg Luxair
Macau Aire macau
Madagascar Aire madagascar
Malawi Malawian Airlines
Malasia Malaysia Airlines
Maldivas Maldivo
Malta Air Malta
Mauritania Mauritania Airlines
Mauritius Aire mauricio
Méjico Aeroméxico
Moldavia Air Moldova
Mongolia Miat mongolian airlines
Montenegro Montenegro Airlines
Morocco Royal Air Maroc
Mozambique Aerolíneas lam mozambique
Myanmar Aerolíneas nacionales de Myanmar
Namibia Air Namibia
Nauru Nauru Airlines
Nepal Nepal Airlines
Países Bajos KLM
New Zealand Air New Zealand
North Korea Air Koryo
Omán Oman Air
Pakistan Pakistan International Airlines
Panama Copa Airlines
Papua New Guinea Air Niugini
Phiippines Philippine Airlines
Poland Mucho polaco aerolíneas
Portugal Toque aire portugal
Qatar Qatar Airways
Republic of the Congo Equatorial Congo Airlines
Réunion Air Austral
Romania TAROM
Rusia Aeroflot
Rwanda RwandAir
San Vicente y las Granadinas SVG Air
Samoa Samoa Airways
São Tomé and Príncipe STP Airways
Saudi Arabia Saudia
Senegal Air Senegal
Serbia Aire serbia
Seychelles Air Seychelles
Islas Salomón Solomon Airlines
Singapur Aerolíneas de Singapur
Slovenia Adria airways
South Africa Vías aéreas sudafricanas
Corea del Sur Aire coreano
Spain Iberia
Sri Lanka SriLankan Airlines
Sudan Sudan Airways
Suriname Surinam airways
Suiza Swiss International Air Lines
Syria Syrian Air
Taiwán China Airlines
Tanzania Air Tanzania
Tailandia Thai Airways International
Trinidad and Tobago Caribbean Airlines
Túnez Tunisair
Turkey Turkish Airlines
Turkmenistán Líneas aéreas de Turkmenistán
Uganda Uganda Airlines
Ukraine Ukraine International Airlines
Emiratos Árabes Unidos Etihad Airways
Reino Unido British Airways
Uzbekistan Uzbekistán Vías aéreas
Venezuela Conviasa
Vietnam Líneas aéreas de vietnam
Vanuatu Aire vanuatu
Yemen Yemenia
Zimbabwe Aire 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
  • Estados Unidos
  • 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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