Airline Affiliate Programs: Fly and Earn!

By Cecille Loorluis
Airline Affiliate Programs: Fly and Earn!


I did a post on travel affiliate programs last year and I thought I should break the travel niche down further, focusing on the specific sub-niches that make it up: airlines, hotels, vacation packages, etc. Hence, this week's niche: airline affiliate programs.

The Internet has changed airline travel, and this may have contributed to its growth in recent years. People can book flights now on mobile devices. They can even print their tickets and boarding passes at home, or anywhere that has Internet and printer access.

Mile-high Industry Statistics

Travel has evolved into a lifestyle, and the airline industry has taken the front seat.

Take a look at this CNN infographic on the aviation industry. The airline industry earns USD $500 billion each year. Some 2.6 billion people take to the air annually.

These numbers are expected, and will continue to rise as more and more people engage in "wellness" or leisure travel. The airline industry made $39.4B last year, with about half of the total coming from North America.

We have reached the stage in technology where we can get practically anything online. You can (and most people do!) book airline tickets, hotel reservations, or heck, entire vacation packages with just a few clicks. It's information that people need before they click the "Buy" button. Websites like and get thousands of visits daily, further proof of the widespread interest in air travel today.

Keywords: Up in the Air

Searching for target keywords in the airline niche feels like trying to grab them from thin air.

And now we come to the main challenge you will encounter in this niche: target keywords. Almost every keyword you can think of that is related to airline tickets and purchasing them has high competition: plane tickets, flight tickets, cheapest airfare, etc. Below are the keyword research results from Traffic Travis:

Airline Fares - Traffic Travis Results

I tried information keywords like "how airplanes work," and while they do have low competition, they also have very few global monthly searches. Still, it's good to know about them. You can pad your site with a couple of articles targeting these keywords.

How Airplanes Work - Traffic Travis Results

I tried a similar keyword search in AffiloTools and the results were pretty much the same. Any phrase resembling "flights" or "cheap flights" has high competition. This is to be expected since these are "buyer-intent" keywords. There are keywords like actual airline names that have good monthly search values and low competition, but there's not much you can do with them.

Flight Keywords Search Results - Affilotools


The key here is to target long-tail keywords. They will have fewer monthly global searches, but they tend to be low in competition. They are also more specific, so you'll be able to target your market effectively using these keywords. Always check and similar sites for variations on your target keywords.

Airfare - Ubersuggest Results D Airfare - Ubersuggest Results P

Airline Affiliate Programs

Remarkably, most major commercial airlines have an affiliate program.

My first stop when checking for affiliate programs was, as always, the ClickBank Marketplace. There were a few interesting affiliate programs that came up when I searched for “airline affiliate programs,” like a course on how to be a flight attendant and how to sue an airline in a Small Claims Court.

But I’m looking for affiliate programs by commercial airlines, so I broadened my search. Surprisingly, almost all major airlines have an affiliate program.

British Airways - Airline Affiliate Programs

1. British Airways

British Airways is a UK-based airline with an extensive global route. The company offers low fares throughout the year.

How much can I make?
2% for flights, hotel reservations and car rentals paid for through

How do I apply?
They have an affiliate page, or you can sign up through their network, Performance Horizon.

Qatar Airways - Airline Affiliate Programs

2. Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is another major international airline, flying to and from 140 destinations around the world.

How much can I make?

How do I apply?
You can visit their affiliate page for more information.

Qantas - Airline Affiliate Programs

3. Qantas

Qantas is the biggest domestic and international airline in Australia. Like British Airways, Qantas flies in and out of major airports across the globe.

How much can I make?

How do I apply?
For more information, or to join their affiliate program, visit their affiliate page.

Singapore Airlines - Airline Affiliate Programs

4. Singapore Airlines

Another flagship carrier, this time for Singapore. Singapore Airlines offers flights to major destinations and more.

How much can I make?

How do I apply?
Viglink manages Singapore Airlines’ affiliate program, so you need to join their network first.

flydubai - Airlines Affiliate Programs

5. flydubai

flydubai (and that is no typo—they really write their brand name with no capital letters) is a Middle Eastern carrier that started in 2009. Since then, they have expanded to offer flights to over 85 destinations.

How much can I make?

How do I apply?
They manage their own affiliate program. Visit their affiliate page for details.

Etihad Airways - Airlines Affiliate Programs

6. Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways is another Middle Eastern airline. Their operations started in 2003 and have since grown to provide service to over 100 destinations.

How much can I make?

How do I apply?
They also manage their own affiliate program through their affiliate page.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines - Airline Affiliate Program

7. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

The oldest airline operating still operating under its original name, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines began in 1919. Today, KLM works to be the most customer-centric European carrier.

How much can I make?

How do I apply?
Head over to the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines affiliate page to join their affiliate program.

There are other airline affiliate programs like Finnair and Austrian Airlines, but the commissions are pretty much the same: 1–2% for every confirmed flight.

Catching the Frequent Flyers

You need a solid marketing strategy to get people who fly to book through your website.

A good link-building strategy greatly contributes to a site's success. It is therefore essential to have, at the very least, a link-building strategy or guide while you're still in the early stages of building the site. This is crucial, particularly in niches like the airline niche where competition is high.

Below are some link-building methods to try for this niche:

Press Releases

Be on the lookout for ticket sales and low fares so that you can announce them through press releases, and then link back to your site.

Share any news-worthy information on travel, or the airline you're promoting, and always link back to the relevant page on your site for more information.

This article from SEMrush describes how press releases, or PRs, are used to build links: Why PR is the New Link Building.

Social Media Marketing

A lot of information-sharing happens on social media sites, so it's important to build a strong presence on such websites. Actively participating in social media not only allows you to share information and interact with your target market, it is also a good source of content for you.

You can find a lot of tips on social media. You can start with our free lesson on how to use social media to promote your website. Then, you can visit websites like for more information.

Solo Ads

Sometimes, you have to take the risk and invest in a paid marketing method. Like solo ads. You pay a solo ad provider's fee, they run your ad on their subscriber list, and you get people to either sign up for your own subscriber list or see your affiliate offer and make a purchase. Either way, it's a win-win situation.

There is that fee you must pay, though, so it helps to have a bit of background on how the entire solo ad process goes. AffiloJetpack has a lesson on solo ads that Mark made. You can also follow guides like this one.

Airline Affiliate Programs: Fly High or Fly Low?

With sky-high competition and so-so commissions, the airline niche can go either way.


All niches have a potential to earn. It's the level of earning potential that you have to gauge each time you're looking at a niche. That, and how much time and effort you need to make the website a success.

The airline niche, unfortunately, does not make the cut for me. The commissions aren't worth all the trouble. You'll be going against major airlines and online travel websites like Expedia and Travelocity. You might be better off promoting travel affiliate programs that tie in hotel and airline booking.

Nothing is set in stone, though. The above is based on my research. If you're up for the challenge, then go ahead and give this niche a try. Just make sure that you're committed to seeing it through.

That ends this week's Niche of the Week. Are you going to try out this niche? Are there any niches you want us to feature? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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Having trouble learning keyword research? AffiloBlueprint can show you how it's done!

7 years ago
Have been running my site for a couple of months now and as well as hotels combined I use Dohop flight affiliate programme. Sadly Dohop have just emailed all its white label users that they are ending the affiliate programme in 3 months which means I need to find a new affiliate programme for flights. This seems quite daunting as I'm not sure how to go about finding a good replacement. Any tips guidance appreciated

Justin Golschneider 7 years ago
Hi Allan! Sorry to hear you're losing an important part of your business like that. I'd try out some of the other programs we recommend here—British Airways does the same flights-and-hotels combo, so I'd start there.
Rod 7 years ago
Do you have a US version of this? I am afraid this list won't do me much good as I am working with a hotel coupon company that is only USA
Justin Golschneider 7 years ago
Hi Rod! Cecille covered a number of US-based affiliate programs in the generic travel article she refers to in the introduction:

You should be able to find some programs that work well for you there. :-)
Sally1 7 years ago
What is Ethical SEO ? Is it any different from white hat SEO?
Justin Golschneider 7 years ago
Hi Sally! Ethical SEO and white hat SEO are the same thing. :-)
Alexey 7 years ago
Hi! And did you make any comparison of meta-search affiliate programs?
It's the difference as they deliver more proposals and cheaper prices.
E.g. Skyskanner, Wego, Momondo, Travelpayouts.
Cecille Loorluis 7 years ago
The above post is focused on affiliate programs that commercial airlines offer. I specifically did not include any OTAs as they are not strictly airfare only.

All the best!
Cecille Loorluis 7 years ago
I didn't include an OTAs in the above post as it is focused on affiliate programs offered by commercial airlines. OTAs tend to serve up cheapest fare among air carriers so it's not just a single airline, as opposed to getting flights from a specific carrier.

All the best!
salil 7 years ago
Have been running my site for a couple of months now and as well as I use travelpayout flight affiliate program.But Flight booking commission is very low, I am looking for some good flights booking affiliate programs.
Lisa 6 years ago
Interesting that you mention that press releases are the new link building strategy. It's something that I've been thinking about lately as well!
Icen W Collins 5 years ago
American airlines is one of your member?
Cecille Loorluis 5 years ago
Hi Icen,

No, American Airlines is not part of Afffilorama. I did a quick check and they do not have an affiliate program.

All the best!