Airline brands don’t usually show up in the list of global most valuable, loved or biggest brand rankings done by various agencies such as Interbrand and others. And yet, airlines are among the most high profile consumer brands that exist, and surely generate a lot of mainstream media attention, most of it these days about consumer frustrations with them.

Brand Finance, a global brand valuation and marketing consultancy, recently came out with its rankings of the top 20 most valuable airline brands, using its methodology where it uses the net present value of the estimated future cash flows attributable to the brand in question. The methodology is described in detail here.

Emirates, not surprisingly, rules the roost, topping out as the most valuable airline brand for a second year running, followed by Lufthansa and then Delta, which climbed up a rank this year. Delta, United, Southwest and American are the four U.S. brands on the list, and three Chinese airlines also make the top 20 list.

RankRankBrand Value ($ Millions)Brand Value ($ Millions)
20132012Name20132012
11Emirates Airlines40983700
22Lufthansa36383296
34Delta32893013
43Singapore Airlines31173218
56United29922763
65China Southern Airlines27522765
715China Eastern Airlines24841543
89Air France2457
98Air China24192395
1010Cathay Pacific23132266
1111British Airways22112011
127ANA20512448
1312Korean Air20432003
1417Southwest19501422
15Japan Airlines1850
1614Turkish Airlines18001681
1713American Airlines17671854
1819TAM Airlines14501285
1918Aeroflot14231308
2020KLM13681278
Photo Credit: Tim Clark, CEO of Emirates Airlines, the most valuable airline two years running now.