British Airways is the world’s top airline with the most mentions and reach on social media ahead of American Airlines and KLM, a survey from Awario says. The ‘social listening tool’ based in Belarus, Cyprus, and California has prepared a Top 10 on how passengers on social media rate airlines. The survey will be presented the coming week at the Aviation Festival in London where representatives from the airline industry gather to discuss innovations.

Awario tracked 52 airlines on social media for three months from May 15 to August 15. It analyzed three parameters. First, the share of voice, or which airlines dominate the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Reddit. Then it looked sentiment, balancing negative and positive remarks. Third, it checked for reach or how through influencers a message or conversation topic reached people. Topics are flights, airports, as well as aircraft. Combined this has resulted in a social media score from 0-100.

As mentioned, British Airways tops the list with a social media score of 79.85 and 229.31K mentions on social media. It reached a staggering 9.97 billion conversations, thanks to influencers like Jeremy Clarkson and Conan O’Brien. They were not always positive, explaining the low sentiment score of 3.70 percent.

Second, comes American Airlines with a score of 54.23, 161.14K mentions, 10.09 percent sentiment score and reach of 4.72 billion. Its results are very balanced, says Awario, leading to a high score.

The third is KLM at 50.87, 205.50K mentions a sentiment score of 4.74 percent and reach of 2.26 billion. On mentions, the airline is very close to BA, but the British have a far bigger reach. A conversation that gave KLM a boost was the presentation of its V-shaped futuristic aircraft-study.

KLM and Delft University’s Flying V was much talked about on social media. 

The Top 10 shows these six ‘legacy’ airlines are next:
– 4: Delta (score 50.50, 165.83K mentions, 23.18 percent sentiment score, 2.19 billion reaches)
– 5: United (48.24, 146.59K, 13.16 percent, 3.29 billion)
– 6: Emirates (48.08, 83.61K, 30.78 percent, 4.37 billion)
– 7: Philippine Airlines (44.86, 38.04K, 57.31 percent, 2.94 billion)
– 8: Cathay Pacific (42.17, 30.92K, 55.01 percent, 2.68 billion)
– 9: Lufthansa (40.90, 94.58K, 11.72 percent, 3.51 billion)
– 10: Qatar Airways (40.44, 78.98K, 31,66 percent, 2.21 billion)

Awario did a separate survey on low-cost airlines and some different numbers show up. In number 1 position is Air Asia with a score of 76.05, 77.68K mentions, a 34.01 percent net sentiment score and a staggering reach of 10.64 billion, so more than BA.

Ryanair comes second at 67.73, 137.34K mentions, a 5.84 percent sentiment score and reaches of 7.51 billion. In third is Southwest at 56.26, 84.49K, 23.30 percent, and 5.34 billion.
In fourth position: easyjet at 46.48, 148.02K, -20,22 percent (many negative remarks here…), and 3.6 billion.

What to do with all this data? Be assured airlines are keeping track of their ratings themselves and try to influence the way they are talked about and opinions shared. Awario has detailed numbers available for further study.

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Active as journalist since 1987, starting with regional newspaper Zwolse Courant. Grand Prix reporter in 1997 at Dutch monthly Formule 1, general reporter Lelystad/Flevoland at De Stentor/Dagblad Flevoland, from 2002 until June 2021 radio/tv reporter/presentor with Omroep Flevoland.
Since mid-2016 freelance aviation journalist, since June 2021 fully dedicated to aviation. Reporter/editor AirInsight since December 2018. Contributor to Airliner World, Piloot & Vliegtuig. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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