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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.

RankRankBrand Value ($ Millions)Brand Value ($ Millions)
298American Airlines45631767
360388TUI Travel39603162
458398Singapore Air32503117
Photo Credit: Stars of the current ad campaign, William Shatner and Kaley Cuoco.