Airline (by passengers): As of 2015, American Airlines is the largest airline on the planet carrying 197 million passengers last year. That’s more than all people live in Russia! It became the largest airline when it merged with already huge airline US Airways in 2014. The airline also has the largest fleet of aircraft world-wide with 1,494 aircraft currently flying in American colours.
Airline (by international passengers): The airline that hauls the most passengers over state borders is our very own Irish Ryanair. Carrying 86.4 million passengers in 2014 it is Europe’s single largest airline. Ryanair flies 19 times the population of Ireland every year! Not bad for a tiny airline that started at Waterford Airport with one 15-seater turboprop 30 years ago.
Airport (by passenger numbers): The busiest airport in the world is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. In 2014, 96 million people passed through the airport. That equates to a quarter of a million people a day!
Airplane (in service): The Antonov An-225 Mriya is the longest and heaviest airplane on the globe. It also has the longest wingspan of any aircraft in service. Built by Ukrainian company Antono the jet has 6 engines, weighs 640 tons (3 blue whales!), is 85 metres long and has a wingspan of 88 metres. However this jet is solely for cargo and is not built for passengers. Only one has ever been built.
Airplane (in regular passenger service): The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger airplane ever. Built by European plane maker Airbus in 2005, it has a maximum capacity of 853 people! Many airlines do however chose the less cramped 525 passenger design. It is double decker and has 4 powerful engines that allow it to travel at 640 miles per hour, or 1030 kilometres per hour! 173 are currently gracing the skies with 144 more due for construction.
Biggest Combat Plane: The Russian-built Tupolev Tu-160 (nicknamed the “White Swan”) is the largest combat aircraft ever built and also the largest supersonic jet ever built. Entering service in 1987, this behemoth was designed by the Soviets to carry nuclear missiles at twice the speed of sound. Capable of launching these warheads at any target and dropping bombs from its bay on enemies below, the 160 is a dangerous war machine that’s more than twice the length of Brachiosaurus!
The double-decker A380 is the world’s largest passenger plane