Just a random question. What are the best airlines (passenger/cargo) for traveling all around the world? Do airlines exist where I could fly from West Coast US to East Asia to the Middle East to Europe to the East Coast US all the way back to where I started? Or something like that with a lot of distant, foreign destinations.
It really depends on a lot of factors. The airline with the most destinations currently is American Airlines, followed by United and Delta, and a few European airlines (lead by Turkish Airlines) boast the most international destinations served, but just flying for one of these companies doesn’t mean that you will be going to all of these destinations. The type of trips that you will get depends on your assigned base, assigned aircraft type, and seniority.
Cargo carriers tend to do more trips of the ‘globe-trotting’ sort. Meaning that they usually fly kind of a round the world circuit, like you described, instead of an out-and-back like a passenger airline would do. But, for the pilots, that also means being away from home for a longer period of time.
Check out APC.com for some info on the cargo carriers that are out there.
While most of your Major airlines do fly some cool places, it usually depends on the equipment you’re flying as to where you go. BUT, if you goal is to do some serious “globe trotting” cargo is definitely the way to go. I have a few friends who fly for Atlas and they fly to every continent except Antarctica. True they’re gone for longer stretches but if you if you’re literally going to circumnavigate the entire globe on a single trip (which they sometimes do) it’s going to take a few days. Some love it, some get burnt out but definitely never boring.
Oh and you’re doing it flying the 747 which is probably the coolest plane on the planet!
At this point really all of the major legacy US airlines (Delta, American, United) have very developed route structures that span the globe. Of course the smaller airlines like Southwest and JetBlue have much smaller networks that are mostly limited to North America.