There are currently more Boeing 737-200s in active service than Airbus A380s. The surprising statistic comes as the majority of the world’s A380 fleet remains grounded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last Boeing 737-200 was delivered in 1988, meaning that the youngest aircraft would be 32 years old now.
A year ago, it would be hard to believe that only a fraction of the world’s Airbus A380 fleet would still be active. However, an awful lot has happened in the last year, especially when it comes to the aviation industry. Even though the recovery is slowly taking shape, it will be a long time before the A380 is a common sight in our skies again.
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How many Boeing 737s are flying?
Believe it or not, there are still some Boeing 737s from the first range of aircraft flying. While the Boeing 737-200 flying is a rare sight, there are several operators of the type to this day.
Indeed, according to the aviation data and analytics experts Cirium, there are still 60 737-200s that haven’t yet been retired. Even more surprisingly, over half of these, 36 to be precise, are still in service. The remaining 24 are currently in storage.
At Simple Flying, we recently mooted how the Boeing 737 Classic series, encompassing the -300, -400, and -500 were becoming a rarity. However, according to Cirium, 507 are still in service, with a further 320 in storage.
It’s the second to latest series of the Boeing 737 type that currently has the most active aircraft. Of the NG series, including the -600, -700, -800, and -900, 4,814 aircraft are in service. 1,602 are currently in storage. Many of the NG series is still relatively young, with the last being produced within the previous year.
There are currently no aircraft from the latest series, the MAX, flying. 375 of the model have been delivered and are now in storage as the type is grounded until it has been recertified.
Why are so few Airbus A380s flying?
There are currently so few Airbus A380s flying due to their massive size. While a critical selling point for the aircraft, it seems its size is also one of its downfalls. In the current climate of reduced demand, it has proven difficult to fill the plane.
Additionally, one of the things that the Airbus A380s are great for is freeing up possibilities at slot constrained airports. With many routes still suspended, even the busiest airports still have plenty of free capacity. For example, both Heathrow and Frankfurt are still only using half of their terminals.
Fortunately, there is good news for the type, as its largest operator, Emirates, looks to return it to the skies. Additionally, it seems as other airlines are maintaining their fleets intending to return to the skies.
Did you think there were so many Boeing 737-200s still flying? Let us know what you thought and why in the comments!