Top 10 largest passenger planes in the world

Airbus A380 and Boeing 747
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Here at AeroTime we’ve gathered data and compiled a list of the world’s top 10 largest passenger jet aircraft.  

They’ve been ranked in ascending order according to their passenger capacity, starting with aircraft that can accommodate a few hundred passengers, and ending with the largest. 

10. Airbus A340-300

The Airbus A340-300 is a long-range French-manufactured passenger aircraft that first entered service back in 1993. It has a seating capacity of 295 passengers in a single-class configuration and 267 passengers in a typical two-class configuration. 

The largest operator of the A340 is Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), with a fleet of 17 of the aircraft. However, Iberia, which previously operated 21 A340s, announced the retirement of the type in June 2020 due to the high costs and unsuitability of four-engine aircraft. 

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9. Airbus A340-500 

The Airbus A340-500 is a wide-body passenger aircraft manufactured in France. First introduced in 2002, it was designed to carry up to 372 passengers in a single-class configuration and 313 passengers in a typical two-class configuration.  

The aircraft was primarily operated by Emirates and Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY), with the latter using the A340-500 to operate the world’s longest flight from Singapore to Newark until 2013. 

As of April 2023, there are no A340-500s in commercial airline service. The last two of its type were retired by Azerbaijan Airlines in 2019. 

Adrian Pingstone / Wikimedia

8. Airbus A350-900 

The Airbus A350 is a long-haul passenger aircraft with a range of up to 15,000 km and a capacity of 300 to 350 passengers. Within the market it competes with the Boeing 787-10 and 777 series, as well as the new Boeing 777X that will arrive with customers in 2025. Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) is the largest operator of A350-900 aircraft. 

As of February 2023, the A350 Family had received 948 firm orders from 54 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful wide-body aircraft ever.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some A350s were converted into cargo aircraft to transport medical equipment and other supplies. The A350 freighter can carry a cargo of up to 104 tonnes. 

Maxim Grohotov / Shutterstock

7. Airbus A330-300

We start off with the Airbus A330-300, a widebody aircraft that first entered service on November 2, 1992. It has a passenger capacity that ranges from 250 to 440, depending on the seat configuration chosen by the airline. Some of its main users include Turkish Airlines, Air China, China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA), China Southern Airlines (ZNH), and Cathay Pacific. 

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant decrease in passenger traffic and a corresponding increase in air cargo demand and pricing. To meet this demand, Airbus introduced a new cargo conversion solution for its A330, which can handle a cargo of up to 61 tonnes. 

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6. Boeing 777-200

The Boeing 777-200 is a passenger plane manufactured in the United States. It can accommodate up to 440 passengers in a single-class configuration and 400 in a typical two-class configuration. It has a travel range of up to 7,700 nautical miles or 14,260 kilometers, depending on the version. 

Although retirements of the Boeing 777-200 began before the COVID-19 pandemic, some airlines like British Airways and Air Canada still operate them. However, Singapore and Delta Airlines (DAL) have retired them completely. 

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5. Airbus A340-600

The Airbus A340-600 is a four-engine wide-body aircraft that can carry up to 370 passengers, making it the largest member of the A340 family. It was introduced in 2002 and has been used by various airlines worldwide. 

As of April 2023, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) is one of the main operators of the A340-600, with a fleet of 12 aircraft. 

Eric Salard / Wikimedia

4. Boeing 777-300

The Boeing 777-300 is a wide-body passenger plane manufactured in the United States with a seating capacity of up to 550 passengers in a single-class configuration and 451 passengers in a typical two-class configuration. It has a travel range of up to 7,370 nautical miles or 13,650 kilometers, depending on the version.  

Emirates is one of the largest operators of the Boeing 777, with a fleet of 134 aircraft as of April 2023. 

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3. Boeing 747-400

The Boeing 747-400 is a passenger aircraft manufactured by Boeing in the United States, with a capacity to accommodate up to 416 passengers in a three-class configuration, 524 in a two-class configuration, or 660 in an all-economy cabin. It has a travel range of 7,260 nautical miles or 13,446 kilometers.  

The 747-400 was a major development of the 747 series, with several structural and electronic improvements, and it made its inaugural flight on April 29, 1988. 

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic significantly impacted the aviation industry, and many airlines, including British Airways, retired their entire fleets of Boeing 747 aircraft. As a result, the largest operator of the 747-400 has now become Lufthansa, which has 8 of the type (though they are set to be replaced with the Boeing 777X).   

Adrian Pingstone / Wikimedia

2. Boeing 747-8

The Boeing 747-8 is a passenger airplane manufactured in the United States. It has the capacity to accommodate up to 467 passengers in a three-class configuration and has a maximum capacity of 605 passengers. The aircraft has a travel range of 8,000 nautical miles or 14,816 kilometers. 

Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) was the first airline to order the 747-8 in 2006, followed by Korean Air and Air China. In 2011, the last order for a passenger version of the 747-8 was received for the US President’s Air Force One transport plane, which is scheduled to be delivered in 2024. 

As a result of poor demand, Boeing delivered the final 747 in January 2023 and said goodbye to the ‘Queen of the Skies’. Boeing plans to replace the 747-8 with its newest offering, the Boeing 777X, which is expected to enter service during the next 2 years. As of now, more than 10 airlines, including All Nippon Airways, Qatar, and Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), had ordered a total of 394 units of the 777X. 

Aero Icarus / Flickr

1. Airbus A380-800

Making the top spot in our list, the Airbus A380-800, a French-made passenger plane, has the capacity for 853 passengers in a single class or 644 in a two-tiered class and can travel up to 8,208 nautical miles or 15,200 kilometres.  

The type first flew on 27 April 2005 and as of December 2021, 254 aircraft have been manufactured. However, due to poor sales, Airbus announced the retirement of the A380-800 in 2021.  

Airbus A380-800 had 14 customers in total and 251 firm orders. 

Emirates, with 119 A380s in its fleet, is the main operator of this aircraft. As of March 2023, Air France has formally announced the retirement of its entire A380 fleet. In 2023, Lufthansa plans to reintroduce four A380s, which will be based in Munich. 

Singapore Airlines had already retired some A380s before the last batch was delivered, but at its peak, it operated around 20 A380s, making it the second largest operator of this aircraft type after Emirates. Currently, only 11 of Singapore Airlines’ A380s are in operation. 

Starting from July 2023, passengers traveling between Abu Dhabi and London can expect superior onboard experiences as Etihad Airways’ A380s are set to come back into service after they had been put into storage. 

Adrian Pingstone

To sum up, then, the Top 10 largest passenger aircraft in the world, in ascending order, are: 

  • Airbus A330-300 
  • Airbus A340-300 
  • Airbus A340-500 
  • Airbus A350-900 
  • Boeing 777-200 
  • Airbus A340-600 
  • Boeing 777-300 
  • Boeing 747-400 
  • Boeing 747-8 
  • Airbus A380-800 

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