Aeroflot tops Most Powerful Airline Brands

I have never flown Aeroflot (or its Russian rival S7 for that matter). Concerns about safety and service have always put me off and I have never flown to Russia. This week, Brand Finance announced that Aeroflot is the most powerful airline brand in the world with a AAA Brand rating.

Brand Finance believe that dominance in the Russian domestic market (the collapse of competitor Transaero in 2015  would have been a fillip for Aeroflot. Combined with a new marketing investment, a renewed fleet and Russia’s growing status as a global hub have all contributed to the result. So much for sanctions!

I remember when Aeroflot was seen as a joke in terms of service and terrifying in terms of safety. No one else has seen more passengers killed over their history with 8,231 passengers dying in Aeroflot crashes. The airline has done a lot of work on its service and replaced its Russian-made planes with western planes.


The biggest shake up in airline brand values this year were with airlines of the Middle East and the USA. Emirates has been the world’s most valuable airline brand for the last five years. This year, its brand value fell to $US6billion but kept its AAA  brand strength.

The big three US carriers are now the three most valuable airline brands in the world with:

  1. American Airlines valued at $US9.8billion (AAA)  up 60%
  2. Delta $9.2b (AAA), up 47%
  3. United $7.2 (AAA-), up 59%

The lower oil price, a rebounding US economy and better domestic offerings has contributed to this result. This might explain Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sharply increasing their investments in airlines this week.

Southwest is at number five, a climb from eight in 2016 with a value of $US6b and AAA rating. Alaska is 17th and JetBlue 18th.

Qatar Airways brand value has fallen 38% from 2016 to US$2.16bn with a AA+ brand rating.  Etihad’s value has remained stable at US$1.56bn with a AA brand rating.

Singapore Airline’s saw a drop in brand value to $US1.6b, a place fall from 16 to 22 and a reduction from AAA to AAA-. This reflects other concerns that after phenomenal growth for decades, SQ are hurting. Cathay Pacific also had a massive fall from 17th to 27th place. Their on going staff battles no doubt not helping the airline.

China Southern is in sixth place and China Eastern in seventh.

Qantas is the 12th most valuable brand at $US2b (AAA-) with Air New Zealand sitting at 34th place.


Myself on a Qantas A380 flightdeck

AirAsia is only 46th which surprised me considering their market reach, marketing, customer growth and potential market

Jetstar is 48th. img_5314This information is part of  Brand Finance’s annual Global 500 list which was released in February. Google is now the world’s most valuable brand with a value of $US109 billion. It is followed by Apple, which had a 27% fall in brand value to $US107billion last year.

What do you think of this measure of brand value?
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  1. I have flown Aeroflot about 20,000 miles, mostly long international segments. Like you, I was weary about their safety history…but I must say that i was pleasantly surprise. The hard product is decent enough. The service is a little sketchy as VERY FEW of their cabin crew speaks conversational English…just lots of awkward smiles. They’re not my first choice when traveling abroad, but if it makes the most sense, I wouldn’t hesitate.

  2. American companies are pretty much worst. the only good side is to use their miles to fly on somebody else metal

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