Skift Take

Priceline should be proud, and Emirates is still killing it when it comes to its brand value. Meanwhile, American Airlines, fresh off the merger, is a lot bigger brand now.

Travel brands — especially airlines — don’t usually show up in the list of global most valuable, loved or biggest brand rankings done by various brand agencies such as Interbrand, Futurebrand and others. So when they do show up in rankings, like the Brand Finance‘s most valuable brands list of the top 500 companies, we decide to pay attention and highlight them. Last year we did a story about the top most valuble airline brands of 2013, where Emirates topped the list.

In this list by Brand Finance, the value of a brand is decided by using the Royalty Relief methodology which determines the value a company would be willing to pay to license its brand as if it did not own it. This approach involves estimating the future revenue attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand. More info on the methodology here.

In the table below, we’re extracting the travel brands out of the list of top 500 brands. The top two aren’t a surprise, these are huge companies, and their brand value is derived from their duopoly position in the commercial aircraft market., meanwhile, is one of the world’s biggest travel companies by market cap, and its brand value comes from that, and is the only pureplay online travel company in this list. The only traditional travel agency on the list is British-based TUI.

In the airlines set on this list, Emirates continues to be the most valuable brand, followed by Delta. American Airlines, meanwhile, has done a huge leap in its brand value, primarily as a result of its merger with US Airways. Related, it has also pulled off what could arguably be one of the smoothest rebranding/redesign of large airlines in history. Singapore Airlines, meanwhile, has all kinds of worries, its brand value being the least of them.

Rank Rank Brand Value ($ Millions) Brand Value ($ Millions)
2014 2013 Name 2014 2013
71 194 Airbus 14599 5636
107 105 Boeing 10943 9249
178 260 6950 4147
234 287 Emirates 5481 4098
286 369 Delta 4736 3289
298 American Airlines 4563 1767
331 326 Lufthansa 4165 3638
360 388 TUI Travel 3960 3162
379 415 United 3831 2992
458 398 Singapore Air 3250 3117

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Photo credit: Stars of the current ad campaign, William Shatner and Kaley Cuoco. Priceline / Reuters

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