An Introduction to the Different Types of Airliners

Airliners have revolutionized the way in which we travel. Consisting of commercial jets and other passenger-carrying airplanes, they allow us to traverse long distances in a fraction of the time as driving. There are different types of airliners, however. While you may already know some of them, others may surprise you. Below is an introduction to the different types of airliners.

Narrow Body

The most common type of airliner is narrow body. Also known as single-aisle airliners, narrow-body airliners are those that feature a single aisle of seats. They usually have multiple rows of seats, but they only have a single aisle. Examples of narrow-body airliners include the Boeing 707, 727, 737 and 757. With only a single aisle of seats, they have a lower passenger capacity than other airliners with multiple aisles of seats.

Wide Body

In addition to narrow body, there are wide-body airliners. Wide-body airliners are those that have two aisles of passenger seats. They’ve been around for over a half-century, with Boeing releasing the world’s first wide-body airliners, the 747, in the mid-1950s. Wide-body airliners are distinguished from narrow-body airliners by their seat layout. The former has two aisles of seats, whereas the latter has a single aisle of seats. And because wide-body airliners have double the aisles of seats, they typically feature a wider body than their narrow-body counterparts, which is why they are known as “wide-body airliners.”


Another type of airliner is commuter. Commuter airliners are small, lightweight airplanes that are designed specifically for short-distance flights. They are often used for business-related flights. Business owners and executives may book a flight on a commuter airliner when traveling short distances. Because of their small size, commuter airliners are typically used exclusively for domestic flights. They don’t have the range needed for international flights. Nonetheless, business-related flights are often conducted with commuter airliners.


Finally, regional airliners are those that have 100 or fewer passenger seats. Many commercial airlines include them in their fleets. With regional airliners, commercial airlines can offer flights to and from small airports. Large airliners, such as wide-body airliners, may be too big and heavy for some small airports. As a result, commercial airlines use regional airliners to provide flight services to and from small airports.

Airliners come in several types. There are narrow-body, wide-body, commuter and regional airliners. Narrow-body airliners have a single aisle of passenger seats. Wide-body airliners have two aisles of passengers. Commuter airliners are designed for short-distance domestic flights. And regional airliners are small airplanes that airliners use for small airport connections.