How many planes are in the air right now?
October 28, 2022
Back in 2017, FlightAware determined there to be an average of 9,728 commercial airplanes in the sky at any given time. Of course, that number fluctuates on a minute-by-minute basis, given that planes are nearly constantly taking off and landing.
Statistics show that 5,670 passengers are currently flown every day by US commercial airlines. Worldwide, around 100,000 planes take off and land each day. If a flight lasts two hours on average, then six million individuals travel by plane every day. That amounts to almost 0.1% of the world’s population. The number of persons in the air at any given time is thought to be around 500,000. There are around 10000-12000 aircraft carrying 1,270,406 people in the air at any given moment.
And all of this doesn’t even consider other types of flights, such as cargo, military, and private jets. Per FlightAware, commercial aviation only comprised about 46.4% of all flights in 2021, so the total number of planes in the air at any time might actually be twice as high — somewhere in the ballpark of 15,500 to 17,500!
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