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Geek Data – Which Airplanes Clog The U.S. Skies?

September 27, 2007 | Posted in: Airline News,Travel Tips

I’ve always been intrigued by the types of planes particular airlines choose for their fleets. Are they getting rid of larger jets and replacing them with several smaller craft? Are they using more large planes in the hope that it will cut down delays? Are they relying on the same type of fleet they’ve always had, or are they thinking of taking on new products put out by Boeing and Airbus?

In order to answer those questions and to get a clearer picture of what’s going on in the sky, I thought it might be interesting to break down the number of flights in the domestic U.S. on a typical fall Monday (November 19, 2007) and show you which airlines are flying which airplanes. Luckily have I have the worldwide flight schedules at my disposal and with a series of data slicing queries I was able to come up with these numbers…

It is pretty interesting to note that if all the flights on a given day were filled up the U.S. based airlines could move the entire U.S. population (approximately 300 million people) in about 115 days!

Here is a pretty good overview of what is going on in the sky (on this pretty typical late fall Monday):

  • Total Flights – 27, 867
  • Total Seat Capacity Flown – 2,599,325
  • Average Seats Flown per Flight93

Here’s how those numbers break down by type of aircraft, most flights top to bottom:

Boeing 737 Family (Jet) - (6,165 Flights) (Seats 110-180)

  • 3,346 flights – Southwest
  • 688 flights – Continental
  • 432 flights- United
  • 416 flights – US Airways
  • 326 flights – Alaska
  • 247 flights – AirTran
  • 200 flights – American
  • 196 flights – Delta
  • 132 flights – Aloha
  • 50 flights – Sun Country
  • 42 flights – ATA

Bombardier (CRJ Family) (Jet)(5,288 Flights) (Seats 50 – 100)

  • 1,736 flights – Delta
  • 1,120 flights – United
  • 791 flights – Northwest
  • 140 flights – American Airlines
  • 131 flights – US Airways
  • 129 flights – Continental Airlines
  • 86 flights Midwest
  • 79 flights – Alaska Airlines
  • 54 flights – Mesa Airlines
  • 16 flights – Frontier
  • 6 flights – GoJet

Embraer (ERJ Family) (Jet)(4,124 Flights) (Seats 50-110)

  • 1,408 flights – American
  • 947 flights – Continental
  • 616 flights – Delta
  • 402 flights – US Airways
  • 224 flights – Express Jet
  • 296 flights – United
  • 152 flights – jetBlue
  • 58 flights – Frontier
  • 16 flights- Northwest
  • 2 flights- Blue Island
  • 1 flight – Chautauqua Airlines
  • 1 flight- Republic Airlines
  • 1 flight – US Airways Express

Airbus 320 Family (Jet)(2,665 Flights) (Seats 140 – 150)

  • 776 flights – US Airways
  • 539 flights – United
  • 500 flights – Northwest
  • 388 flights- Jet Blue
  • 276 flights – Frontier
  • 116 flights – Spirit
  • 46 flights – Virgin America
  • 23 flights – USA 300

Boeing MD-80 Family (Jet) - (1,920 flights) (Seats 140-150)

  • 1,147 flights – American
  • 565 flights – Delta
  • 106 flights – Allegiant Air
  • 64 flights – Alaska Airlines
  • 38 flights – Midwest

Boeing 757 Family (Jet)(1,419 flights) (Seats 160 – 225)

  • 426 flights – Delta
  • 288 flights – United
  • 265 flights – American
  • 201 flights – Northwest
  • 111 flights – US Airways
  • 102 flights – Continental
  • 12 flights – ATA

De Havilland Dash 8 (Prop)(1,002 flights) (Seats 37)

  • 430 flights – US Airways
  • 358 flights – Alaska Airlines
  • 64 flights – United
  • 64 flights – Aloha Island Air
  • 48 flights – Continental
  • 38 flights – Era Aviation

Cessna (Prop) - (909 Flights) (Seats 6-14)

  • 214 flights – Hageland Aviation Services
  • 120 flights – Aero Flight
  • 99 flights – Cape Air
  • 81 flights – Yute Air Alaska
  • 76 flights- Pacific Wings
  • 70 flights – Bering Air
  • 38 flights – Island Airlines
  • 35 flights – Kenmore Air
  • 31 flights – Wright Air Service
  • 24 flights – Mesa Airlines
  • 22 flights- Wings of Alaska
  • 18 flights – Air Salone
  • 16 flights – Continental
  • 13 flights – Inland Aviation Services
  • 10 flights – Heli Air
  • 10 flights – Astair
  • 6 flights – Warbelow’s Venture
  • 6 flights – Harbor Airlines
  • 6 flights – ATRAN
  • 4 flights- Smokey Bay Air
  • 4 flights – 40 Mile Air
  • 4 flights – Eagle Canyon Airlines
  • 2 flights- Peninsula Airways

SAAB 340B (Prop) - (821 Flights) (Seats 34)

  • 318 flights – Northwest
  • 182 flights – American Airlines
  • 153 flights – US Airways
  • 86 flights – Continental
  • 46 flights – United
  • 22 flights – Penair
  • 2 flights – Pinnacle Airlines
  • 8 flights – Alaska Airlines
  • 2 flights – Canadian Airlines
  • 2 flights – Mesaba Airlines

Beechcraft 1900 (Prop)(810 flights) (Seats 19)

  • 190 flights – Great Lakes Aviation
  • 167 flights – US Airways
  • 152 flights – Continental
  • 55 flights – Frontier Flying
  • 50 flights- Delta
  • 49 flights – Big Sky Airlines
  • 43 flights – Mesa Airlines
  • 36 flights – Midwest
  • 34 flights – Era Aviation
  • 11 flights – Hageland Aviation Services
  • 11 flights – Warbelow’s Venture
  • 9 flights- Bering Air Inc.
  • 3 flights – Skyway Airlines/Astral Aviation

Boeing 717 (Jet) - (748 flights) (Seats 88-128)

  • 511 flights – AirTran
  • 120 flights – Midwest
  • 117 flights – Hawaiian

Embraer EMB 120 (Prop)(534 Flights) (Seats 30)

  • 420 flights – United
  • 76 flights – Delta
  • 36 flights – Great Lakes Aviation
  • 2 flights – Continental

Piper Light Aircraft (Prop) - (310 Flights) (Seats 4-6)

  • 91 flights – Frontier Flying Service
  • 55 flights – Peninsula
  • 50 flights – Lab Flying Service
  • 37 flights – Warbelow’s Air Ventures
  • 35 flights – Aero Flight
  • 16 flights – Bering Air
  • 12 flights – Star Air
  • 8 flights – Everts Air
  • 4 flights – Wright Air Service
  • 2 flights – Tan Air

Boeing DC-9 Family – (416 Flights) (100 seats)

  • 416 flights – Northwest

Boeing 767 Family (Jet)(259 Flights) (240 – 290 seats)

  • 84 flights – Delta
  • 70 flights – American
  • 50 flights – United
  • 32 flights – Hawaiian
  • 13 flights – Continental
  • 6 flights – US Airways

Fairchild Dornier 328 (Jet)(106 Flights) (Seats 30-35)

  • All Midwest

Aerospatiale/Alenia Family (Prop)(72 flights) (30-70 seats)

  • 28 flights – American
  • 44 flights – Delta

Boeing 777 Family (Jet)(35 daily flights) (Seats 250-280)

  • 25 flights – United
  • 6 flights – American
  • 4 flights – Delta

This list doesn’t account for every aircraft in US airspace (private aircraft, cargo etc) on any given day, but it does go a long way in demonstrating just how crowded it can get up there. I hope to use this and my other “Geek” data in future posts to get into more of the details of air traffic.

4 Responses to “Geek Data – Which Airplanes Clog The U.S. Skies?”

  1. hillrider says:

    Very interesting data dig–thanks. It turns out that the average flight has 93.3 seats, and this includes all those tiny flights (Cessna etc) that serve tiny places. I would expect that the average flight in/our of large and heavily congested places like JFK would have a far higher number of seats (let’s say 150). But that’s not the case: according to online.wsj.com/public/article/SB118696365326095429.html , that number is only 98.

    Something to think about next time my time is wasted by being # 26 for take-off at JFK. And why isn’t the government doing anything about better use of public facilities?

  2. david says:

    where are the international carriers??

  3. Mat says:

    Embraer 120 is not a jet aircraft, rather a turboprop.

  4. Rick Seaney says:

    Thanks Mat,

    I changed the post, I guess I was sleepy when I was putting in the info.

    Cheers,

    Rick

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