Airbus Planes Are Now More Popular Than Boeing Worldwide

OAG data shows that something interesting happened over the last decade. Boeing began dominant, with the 737 outpacing Airbus A320 aircraft in scheduled flights and time in the air – and several Boeing planes cracking the top 10.

At the end of the decade the A320 family was ahead of the 737, and both the Boeing 757 and MD80 had dropped out of the race for dominance in scheduled flights. The Boeing 777 became more popular, and 787s spend more time in the air than Airbus A350s. However the 767 is slowly fading from the scene.

American Airlines Airbus A321T

American Airlines Boeing 787-8 in Chicago

Boeing’s widebodies – the 777s and 787s – remain strong. However its product mix has become more limited, without an ‘NMA’ or middle market aircraft (the Airbus A321XLR seems to be doing well in this segment attracting orders) and the once-dominant 737 hasn’t kept up with Airbus narrowbodies.

Here are the top 10 aircraft by number of flights scheduled in 2019:

Type  Scheduled Flights 
Airbus A320 Family                12,762,758
Boeing 737 Family                10,478,659
Embraer 170/195                  2,609,361
Bombardier CRJ                  2,196,217
ATR42/72                  1,708,257
Dash 8                  1,162,008
Boeing 777                     859,337
Embraer 135/140/145                     840,347
Airbus A330                     823,638
Cessna                     788,761

And here are the top 10 aircraft based on minutes in the air. This is going to skew more heavily towards larger aircraft that fly longer distances, albeit fewer takeoffs and landings. That’s why we see the 777 higher up on this list and the 787 and 767 on this list but not the previous one.

Aircraft Type  Flying Time (Minutes)
Airbus A320 Family          1,772,333,624
Boeing 737 Family          1,507,650,968
Boeing 777              356,503,016
Embraer 170/195              281,601,340
Airbus A330              262,570,358
Boeing 787              236,694,903
Bombardier CRJ              212,808,560
ATR 42/72              111,809,512
Boeing 757                89,495,712
Airbus A350                85,341,536

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Given Boeing’s incompetence over the past year I’m pretty sure Airbus is going to be even stronger next year.

  2. “That’s why we see the 777 higher up on this list and the 787 and 767 on this list but not the previous one.”

    However, the 767 doesn’t appear on the list that follows this sentence, yet the 757 does. Either the sentence is in error, or the list is in error.

  3. Many things tend to become duopolys. Microsoft, Apple. Or iOS and Android. Or Walmart and Target. The list goes on. In this case both had some form of government backing or subsidy by large enough country’s that they could grab market share.

  4. Considering the grotesque display of bad judgement and greed , that has become Boeing , I am not one tiny bit surprised ! Matter of fact , I almost yell “yahoo !” , in total glee ! I find it obscene and embarrassing , that Boeing still refuses to modify the Killing-Machine.737 , while pushing it down the unwilling throats of the flying public ! At a minimum , they should enlarge the tailplane . This would fundamentally prevent the rear from swinging under-neath the plane , during climb out .
    *Eliminate the greed , eliminate Pugachev’s-Cobra !

  5. Steve: The words you were looking for are murderers…and/or terrorists. I don’t know why one would be too much of a coward to admit those undeniable truths. Those reading, a reminder: one does not have to actually pull the trigger to be guilty of murder. See all that the exec/counsel murderers knew, not the least of which was what the cowardly capital criminals admitted and released on Christmas eve…. murderers also apparently try to diminish their exposure to higher visibility news cycles.

  6. I have to wonder if we are at the beginning of a tipping point where they will no longer be the dominant force behind aviation. If we look back at the last couple of decades, many US companies prioritizing short-term profits over long term stability, innovation, and growth have either gone out of business or have become nearly irrelevant. Sears is a great example here. Same things with most appliance makers that are now all under one roof (the only one left). GM as well. Yes of course building a washing machine or selling one is quite different than building a plane. But think about it – Sears didn’t invest in their brand, their infrastructure, their stores which were their lifeblood. They instead just sucked all of the profits out of the company. And look at where they are today.

    Now think of Boeing. Instead of investing a decade ago and being the leaders they once were by creating a new plane, they chose short term profits and just stuck bigger engines on a 50 year old design. It’s the equivalent of Chevrolet just putting a slightly newer engine on a 15 year old car design. Oh wait…we see how that turned out.

    I just really do wonder if we are at a point where their downfall is all but inevitable. I’d hope not, but looking at history I really think we might be. Unfortunately without popular or trustworthy leadership to defend the company to the world, how many other nations are going to turn away from Boeing? I feel bad for the good people there. The top end c-suite who is responsible for all of this I do not feel bad for. Of course they got their bonuses and on to other profit-taking opportunities.

    [Stepping off of soapbox now]

  7. Boeing has mainly local salaried workers. Boeing is sadly heading in the footsteps of Convair, Lockheed, Douglas McDonald, even Fokker.
    Multi-national European AIRBUS proudly produces with a sound sense of genuine accomplishment, its supreme Flagship being the superb huge A i r b u s A -380-900, which is absolutely a JOY to fly in. I am sure, Airbus will restart the A-380 production sometime within the next ten years. The reasons are manifold!

  8. For that to happen , they would have to refit as a twin-engine , split-level combi-freighter . This to better service the point-to-point paradigm that is overtaking the air-transport market .

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