Top 10 Biggest Passenger Planes in the World

Aircraft · 7 min read · Apr 12, 2022
biggest passenger plane

Commercial airliners have become popular over the last several years. The great demand for air travel in the airline industry finds the need to improve passenger aircraft to accommodate and transport millions of the ever-increasing population, here come the biggest passenger planes.

With many airlines making huge profits, it’s natural for them to upgrade their planes to be bigger, better, and faster.

Do you know the latest and biggest passenger plane in the commercial plane industry? We’ve compiled the ten biggest commercial planes that you need to know.

10. Airbus A330-300

Airbus A330-300 is a medium to the long-range, twin-engine wide-body passenger aircraft made by the Airbus company. The aircraft is the best-selling variant of the A330, with over 1000 built. The first A330-300 made its first flight with Cathay Pacific Airways in 1994.

The A333 can carry a population of 335 passengers. 261 are available in the main cabin, and 40 are fitted in the Delta comfort Cabin. The remaining 34 are situated in Delta One Cabin. It is an excellent aircraft for medium to long-haul flights with a maximum range of 6350 nautical miles.

A333 featured luxuries like satellite TVs, USB ports, flatbeds, and Wi-Fi. Despite being older than some competing models, the A330-300 has proven itself to be a reliable and popular aircraft with airlines looking for more flexibility in their fleet, a model that can be retrofitted easily when new technologies become available.

Airlines that operate this aircraft include Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Air China.

A Turkish Airline's Airbus A330-300.
Image source: Masakatsu Ukon

9. Airbus A340-300

The Airbus A340-300 is a long-range, four-engine, wide-body passenger plane that first entered service with Lufthansa in 1993. Re-engine A340-300E models entered service in 1996, and an improved A340-300HGW version was offered in 2000. The final A340-300 delivery took place in 2011 to Saudi Arabian Airlines.

377 Airbus A340-300 airliners have been produced, with orders coming from 56 customers. The A340-300’s four engines provide a 7,300 nautical miles travel range, making it capable of flying nonstop from Los Angeles to Sydney and Tokyo to New York City. It’s the plane that can truly take you anywhere.

Airlines operating the Airbus A340 include Singapore Airlines, Avianca, Etihad Airways, British Airways, Qatar Airways, and Air France.

A white Airbus A340-300
Image source: Laurent ERRERA

8. Airbus A340-500

The A340-500 is the take-off and landing beast of the skies. It flies at a maximum of 554 miles per hour. The wingspan of 211 feet allows it to carry more cargo than any other plane in its class, and it has flown over 1.5 billion miles.
The Airbus A340-500 is designed for intercontinental flights. It has a travel range of 9,000 nautical miles when it carries 310 passengers in a single class seat arrangement.

A340-500 can be configured with 250 seats in the two-class cabin or an all-premium single class with just 100 passengers. The cabin space is wider with more legroom than any other commercial aircraft. The aircraft’s wingspan measures 208 feet, and its overall length is 222 feet. The A340-500 uses four Rolls-Royce Trent 553 engines that produce 103,000 pounds of thrust.

Several airlines have used the A340-500 passenger plane since its introduction in 2002. With just 10 in service, the rareness of this plane means that flying on one is a memorable experience.

An Emirates Airline's Airbus A340-500
Image source: Aero Icarus

7. Airbus A350-900

The A350-900 has been a workhorse for Singapore airline’s fleet since its introduction in 2014. The talented team at Airbus Company designed the passenger aircraft as the most famous member of the Airbus A350 XWB family of long-haul, wide-body airliners.

The aircraft measures 219 feet with a wingspan of 212 feet. It can carry between 300 and 350 passengers in a three-class cabin configuration or up to 440 with a high-density seating capacity. Two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines power the A350-900.

The most significant difference between the A350-900 and most other aircraft is its fuel efficiency. A range of 8,100 nautical miles can get you further than the competitors while also delivering greater comfort to passengers and crew.

A blue and white Airbus A350-900.
Image source: Leo067

6. Boeing B777-200LR

The Boeing 777-200LR is the second generation of the B777 family. Its introduction in 1995 made it the ideal passenger plane in the world to be entirely integrated with computer-aided design. B777-200LR has a range of 5,240 nautical miles and a top speed of 567 miles per hour. Its length is 209 feet, and its wingspan is 212 feet.

Depending on the cabin space configuration, the passenger capacity ranges from 314 to 451 passengers. The two-class system can accommodate up to 317 passengers, while the single-class system in an all-economy cabin holds 440 passengers.

The 777-200 features two Rolls Royce Trent 884s or General Electric GE90-115BL. The 777-200 gives you the comforts as you soar across the sky, from luxuries like heated floors to the latest in-flight innovations like LED lighting.

A Cathay Pacific Boeing B777-200LR
Image source: Aero Icarus

5. Airbus A340-600

The Airbus A340-600 is a long-range, wide-body jet airliner and the largest member of the A340 family. The aircraft made its maiden flight in 2002 with Virgin Atlantic airline.

The passenger airplane is 247 feet long, with a wingspan of 208 feet. It has a range of over 7,800 nautical miles, a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.88. The passenger seating capacity of an A340-600 is 380 people for 54 business class, 314 for economy class, and 12 for first class.

A340-600 was the largest passenger airliner before Airbus A380. However, it was not as successful as Airbus had hoped. Airbus A340-600 has found favor with airlines serving niche routes requiring ultra-long range. The biggest operators are Virgin Atlantic, South African Airways, and Lufthansa, which operate 12 aircraft each.

A Lufthansa Airbus A340-600
Image source: Makaristos

4. Boeing B777-300ER

The Boeing 777-300ER is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner developed by the Boeing Company. It is the world’s largest twinjet passenger plane and has a single class system with a capacity of 396 passengers. B777-300 has a range of 7730 nautical miles. The aircraft is 242 feet long and has a wingspan of 212 feet. 

The distinctive features of the B777-300ER include a blade-shaped tail cone, six wheels on each main landing gear the largest diameter turbofan engines, a circular fuselage cross-section, and The 777 was designed to replace older airliners and bridge the capacity difference between Boeing’s 767 and 747. The B777-300ER aircraft is equipped with a fly-by-wire system and the entire avionics is computer-designed.

B777-300 has served as both a domestic carrier and a long-haul airliner for many airliners. It’s powered by two General Electric GE90-115BL or Rolls-Royce Trent 895 engines. The airplane features a two-class configuration with 400 seats or a three-class configuration with 550 seats (which includes 66 first-class seats).

An AirFrance Boeing B777-300ER
Image source: JacobAviation

3. Boeing B747-400

The Boeing 747-400 is a four-engine long-range wide-body plane manufactured by Boeing, the American aerospace company. The aircraft made its debut flight on April 29, 1988.

The Boeing 747-400 has a range of 8,056 nautical miles. It can reach a top speed of 955 km/h. It has an overall length of 231 feet, with its wingspan measuring 211 feet. The commercial airliner has a maximum seating capacity of 524 passengers over long distances in a double-class configuration or up to 660 passengers in a single-class economy layout.

Two Rolls Royce RB211 turbofans or two General Electric CF6 engines power the aircraft. Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, and other airlines mainly used the series.

A British Airways Boeing B747-400
Image source: Makaristos

2. Boeing B747-8

The Boeing 747-8 is a wide-body airliner developed by Boeing for the most demanding passengers and cargo operators. 747-8 is the third generation of the 747. It has redesigned wings, a lengthened fuselage, and improved efficiency. The 747-8 is the gigantic version of the 747 series, the largest passenger plane built in the United States, and the longest passenger aircraft in the world.

B747-8 has been an icon plane in commercial aviation for decades. Because of many innovations, it is still in operation today. In 2017, the US made the last order of B747, which will serve as the US president’s Air force.

The Boeing 747-8 has two major variants: the 747-8 Intercontinental for the passenger version and the 747-8 Freighter for the cargo variant. Other features that make the Boeing 747 ideal include its seating classes: economy class, premium economy class, first-class, and VIP/first suite sections onboard some models.

It can also be converted from passenger to cargo carrier within 24 hours by removing the seats on the main deck. This makes the model attractive to airlines who need to accommodate both types of transport. B747-8’s major competitor is the world’s largest passenger jet, the Airbus A380-800 superjumbo.

A Lufthansa Boeing B747-8
Image source: tjdarmstadt

1. Airbus A380-800

Airbus A380-800 is the world’s largest and heaviest passenger aircraft by Airbus Company. The plane has fly-by-wire flight controls integrated with side-sticks and a modern glass cockpit. The Airbus A380 aircraft is equipped with advanced technology and is 25% more fuel-efficient than earlier models, thus lower operating costs and better fuel economy. It enter service in 2005, and it can fly 8,200 nautical miles at a cruising speed of Mach 0.85. Airbus A380 is about 239 feet long and has a wingspan of 261 feet. 

Airbus A380-800 passenger capacity for a double class system can hold 853 passengers and 644 in a two-tiered class. Airbus announced the end of an era in 2021. Some airlines have retired A380 its production came to an end. Singapore Airlines took the first of five out of service. One has been scrapped so far, while another has entered service with a leasing company. Air France grounded all their A380 fleet during the pandemic.

Singapore Airlines, Delta Airlines, Qatar Airways, Korean Air, Air France, British Airways, and All Nippon Airways are currently the leading operators of the biggest passenger plane, the Airbus A380. There has also been an attempt to convert an Airbus A380 into a private jet.

A Lufthansa Airbus A380-800.
Image source: Melv_L – MACASR

Is Boeing 777 bigger than the 747?

With a maximum capacity of 524 passengers and a wingspan of almost 200 feet, the 747 is the largest Boeing aircraft in the fleet. Its sheer size led to the nickname “Jumbo Jet.” The Boeing 777 is no slouch either, though. With its maximum capacity of over 400 passengers and a wingspan of just under 200 feet, it’s an impressive sight for any onlooker.

Is the 777 bigger than the 747? No! The 747 has more seating capacity, a longer fuselage length, and immense overall weight when fully loaded.

Is the A380 bigger than the 747?

The Airbus A380 is the largest commercial passenger plane in the world and can accommodate between 525 and 853 passengers. The Boeing 747, by contrast, can accommodate between 467 and 605 passengers. The Airbus A380 is bigger than the Boeing 747 in height and wingspan. However, when it comes to length and weight, the 747 is longer and heavier than the A380.

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Aeroclass Team
A team of professionals with a deep passion for the aviation industry bringing you the newest and the most striking industry-related news and content.

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