How many commercial aircraft are there in the world?

In part one of our special Global Airline Report, Key.Aero breaks down the global fleet data to find out which types are the most popular – and who’s using them 

Information supplied by aviation data specialists ch-aviation shows that at as of July 7, there were 31,734 civil aircraft in the global fleet being used by more than 750 different airlines. 

Aviation Image Network/BaoLuo
The global commercial aircraft fleet totals nearly 32,000 airframes. Aviation Image Network/BaoLuo

The most popular type is the Boeing 737 Next Generation with 6,558 examples being active – a drop of 42 since last year equating to around a 1% reduction. The 737 is used by hundreds of carriers all over the world, but the airframe’s largest operator is Southwest Airlines. 


The Dallas-based low-cost carrier manages 701 examples, accounting for nearly 11% of the global fleet. The firm holds a roster comprising 494 of the shorter -700s and 207 -800s. 

Southwest Boeing 737-800
Southwest Airlines is the world's largest Boeing 737NG operator. Aviation Image Network/Simon Gregory

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