Take a look at 10 of the world's largest passenger planes, from the Boeing 747-400 to the Airbus A380-800

·7 min read
SIA Airbus A380-800.
A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800.C. v. Grinsven/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
  • Six of the world's largest passenger aircraft are made by European manufacturer Airbus.

  • The Airbus A380-800 is the world's largest passenger aircraft with a maximum capacity of 853.

  • It seats 193 more passengers than the second-largest passenger plane, the Boeing 747-400.

Only two manufacturers — Airbus and Boeing — are behind 10 of the world's largest passenger planes.

Airbus and Boeing factories.
Airbus and Boeing factories.Marcus Brandt/picture alliance/Liu Guanguan/China News Service/Getty Images

The world's first-ever jumbo jet, the Boeing 747, was constructed by American aircraft manufacturer Boeing in 1970. Over 50 years later, the airline industry is saturated by widebody aircraft constructed by two major manufacturers: Boeing and Europe's Airbus.

Some 4,800 widebody aircraft are currently in use worldwide. The number is expected to grow in the next decade to around 7,000 jets.

In 2007, Airbus, the world's biggest commercial plane manufacturer, introduced the world's largest commercial aircraft by passenger capacity — the A380-800.

Take a look at the 10 of the world's largest passenger planes. The models are arranged in ascending order according to their maximum capacity and their number of seats in either a two or three-class seating arrangement.

10. Airbus A330-300

Delta Airlines Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
A Delta Airlines Airbus A330-300 aircraft.Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The A330-300 is the first variant of the A330. It first took flight in January 1994.

The wide-body aircraft is currently used by dozens of airlines, including Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Korea Air, and Virgin Atlantic. It has a maximum seating of 440 and a typical seating capacity between three classes of 250 to 290.

The European-made plane has an overall length of 208 feet and 10 inches (63.66 meters), a height of 55 feet and one inch (16.79 meters), and a wing span of 197 feet and 10 inches (60.3 meters).

 

9. Airbus A340-300

Airbus A340-300, Cathay Pacific.
A Cathay Pacific Airbus A340-300 aircraft.Contributor/aviation-images.com/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The A340-300 is a variant of the ultra-long-range A340. It first took flight in October 1991.

Around 54 of the aircraft were in service as of March. Operators of the plane include German airline Lufthansa. The plane has a maximum seating of 440 and typical seating between three classes (first, business, and economy) of 250 to 290.

It has an overall length of 208 feet and 11 inches (63.69 meters), a height of 55 feet and nine inches (16.99 meters), and a wingspan of 197 feet and 10 inches (60.30 meters).

8. Airbus A340-500

Hi Fly Malta Airbus A340-500.
A Hi Fly Malta Airbus A340-500.santirf/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus

The A340-500 was the world's longest-range passenger plane when it was first introduced in 2002. The aircraft has a maximum range of 9,000 nautical miles.

It has a maximum seating of 440, with typical seating between three classes (first, business, and economy) of 270 to 310.

Currently, only one A340-500 is still in active service, and it is used by Azerbaijan Air, according to the aviation website Simple Flying.

The plane has a length of 222 feet and 10 inches (67.93 meters), a height of 56 feet and eight inches (17.53 meters), and a wingspan of 208 feet and two inches (63.45 meters).

7. Boeing 777-200LR

Emirates Boeing 777-200LR.
An Emirates Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.winhorse/Editorial RF/Getty Images

Released in 2006, the Boeing 777-200 was the world's longest-range commercial plane at the time. It is a variant of Boeing's flagship 777 model.

Airlines like Air Canada, Emirates, and Qatar Airways continue to use the model. It has a maximum capacity of 440 and typical seating between two classes (business and economy) of 317.

The plane has a length of 209 feet and one inch (63.7 meters), a height of 61 feet and one inch (18.6 meters), and a wingspan of 212 feet and seven inches (64.8 meters).

6. Airbus A350-900

Lufthansa Airbus A350-900.
Lufthansa Airbus A350-900.Joel Serre/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus

The A350-900 is the first variant of the A350, which was developed to compete with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It has a maximum seating of 440 and typical seating between three classes (first, business, and economy) of 300 to 350.

Airlines that use the model include Singapore Airlines, Delta Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Cathay Pacific.

The plane has an overall length of 219 feet and two inches (66.8 meters), a height of 55 feet and 11 inches (17.05 meters), and a wingspan of 212 feet and five inches (64.75 meters).

5. Airbus A340-600

Airbus A340-600 operated by Virgin Atlantic.
An Airbus A340-600 operated by Virgin Atlantic.Stefan Irvine/LightRocket/Getty Images

The A340-600 is the largest-capacity variant of the A340. It has a maximum seating of 475, and its typical seating between three classes (first, business, and economy) ranges from 320 and 370. Airlines that use the model include Lufthansa.

The plane has an overall length of 247 meters and three inches (75.36 meters), a height of 58 feet and 10 inches (17.93 meters), and a wingspan of 208 feet and two inches (63.45 meters).

4. Boeing 777-300ER

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 777-300.
A KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 777-300.Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The first 777-300ER, a variant of the 777, was first delivered in April 2004. Airlines like Singapore Airlines and United Airlines continue to use the model.

It has a maximum capacity of 550 passengers and typical seating between two classes (business and economy) of 396.

The plane has a length of 242 feet and four inches (73.9 meters), a height of 60 feet and eight inches (18.5 meters), and a wingspan 21 feet and five inches (64.75 meters).

3. Boeing 747-8

Air China Boeing 747-8.
An Air China Boeing 747-8 aircraft.Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images

At the time of its introduction as a passenger aircraft in 2012, the 747-8 was the largest variant of the 747. The plane has a length of 250 feet and two inches (76.3 meters), a height of 63 feet and six inches (19.4 meters), and a wingspan of 224 feet and five inches (68.4 meters).

It has a maximum capacity of 605, and typical seating between three classes (first, business, and economy) of 467. As of 2020, airlines like Air China, Korean Air, and Lufthansa continue to operate the model.

2. Boeing 747-400

British Airways Boeing 747-400.
A British Airways Boeing 747-400.Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The 747-400 was first introduced in 1989. The plane is now more commonly used to transport cargo, but airlines like Asiana Airlines and Lufthansa continue to use the model for passenger flights.

The plane measures 321 feet and 10 inches (70.66 meters) in length, 63 feet and six inches (19.40 meters) in height, and has a wingspan of 211 feet and five inches (64.44 meters).

It has a maximum capacity of 660 and typical seating between three classes (first, business, and economy) of 416.

 

1. Airbus A380-800

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800.
A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800.SOPA Images/Contributor/Getty Images

The A380-800, which was first introduced in 2007, is the world's largest passenger aircraft.

While production of the model ceased in 2021, it continues to be used by airlines like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and British Airways. There were 254 units built in total.

The superjumbo jet has an overall length of 72.7 meters, a height of 24.1 meters, and a wingspan of 79.8 meters. It has a maximum capacity of 853 and typical seating between four classes (first, business, premium economy, and economy) of 545.

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