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10. Virgin Australia

Passenger Increase 2011-2012: 18.3%

Virgin Australia made big gains in 2012, chipping away at rival Qantas's monopoly on many routes. The company also expanded its network and signed up several code-share deals. But the airline faces slower growth in 2013, as Australia's aviation industry deals with a slowdown in the resource-rich economy. The airline forecast capacity growth of only 4-5 percent over the next 12 months.

Air New Zealand recently upped its stake in Virgin Australia to 23 percent, something which will not have gone unnoticed by Etihad and Singapore Airlines - both of which have stakes in the company. Virgin Australia is now the second-largest airline down under and is a rare example of a company that has made the transition from LCC to full-service.

Ian Waldie | Bloomberg | Getty Images