Airbus’ A320 Beats Boeing 737 As The World’s Most Used Plane

There are 2.4 million non-stop flights planned in October, with 361 million seats available for sale. The A320ceo has the most flights with the B737-800, an equivalent aircraft, second. The world’s top-10 most-used aircraft will have 72% of all flights globally.

Delta A320ceo
The A320ceo will operate more October flights than any other type. However, Delta isn’t in the top users’ list. This specific example, funnily enough registered N321US, is about 30 years old. It was delivered to Northwest in January 1992. Photo: Eddie Maloney via Flickr.

The top-10 most-used aircraft in October

More flights are scheduled by the A320ceo in October than any other type. With over half a million flights, the middle-of-the-road ubiquitous Airbus narrowbody has a 22% share of all flights in that month. This is based on examining every aircraft type and variant globally using schedules information from Cirium.

  1. A320ceo: 536,222 flights planned in October
  2. B737-800: 459,665
  3. A321ceo: 165,116
  4. B737-700: 151,559
  5. A319: 112,620
  6. ATR-72: 88,001
  7. Embraer 175: 86,590
  8. CRJ-900: 55,629
  9. Dash-8-Q400: 54,512
  10. Embraer 190: 46,690

The A319 is still going strong, despite Frontier retiring the type this year, with the US remaining a dominant country for the aircraft. Occupying five spots are large turboprops and regional jets, led by the ATR-72 with its renowned low operating costs on short trips. Thanks to the USA’s scope clause agreement and upgauging, the Embraer 175 is the world’s most used RJ.

WestJet Dash 8
WestJet Encore has more Dash-8-400 flights in October than any other carrier. Photo: BriYYZ via Flickr.

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The A320ceo versus the B737-800

With 19% of all flights, the B737-800 is the second most commonly deployed type. Both it and the A320ceo are effectively used on the same missions and are equivalents. A narrowbody startup will often choose one or the other if they’re after the offered payload-range.

Indeed, the general capacity of both types and their popularity with LCCs indicate that they’re excellent choices for a balance between trip cost, seat-mile cost, and not having too many seats to fill. While new entrants Avelo and Flyr chose the B737-800, the A320ceo has 28% more LCC flights in October, Cirium data shows.

American B737-800
American will have the third-highest number of B737-800 flights in October, after Ryanair and Southwest. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

182 airlines scheduled to use the A320ceo

Over 180 airlines are down to use the A320ceo, including many lesser-known carriers, such as Cambodia’s JC Airlines, Iraq’s UR Airlines, and Cyprus’ Tus Airways. The type remains important for Qatar Airways, despite the airline being most known for widebody flights.

The use of the A320ceo revolves around China, with three times more flights than the US, the second-largest country. The dominance of China is vividly seen in the top-10 list, below. In the US, Frontier will be the most significant A320 user. Some 83% of its movements will be by the type, with Orlando to Philadelphia topping the list of 250+ A320 routes by monthly services.

  • China Eastern
  • IndiGo
  • easyJet
  • China Southern
  • Spring Airlines
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Sichuan Airlines
  • Vueling
  • Frontier

What is your best experience or memory of any of the top-10 aircraft in this article? Share your thoughts in the comments.