The Difference Between Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 (2024)

The Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 are two of the world's most beloved jet liners, used by virtually every major airline around the globe.

Though they share the same fundamental principle, there are subtle distinctions between the two planes that may not be immediately obvious. Let's take a closer look at what sets them apart and makes them so interesting.


The Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 make up the vast majority of commercial aircraft available for short-haul flights today, both being highly popular with passengers and used by airlines around the world.

Both aircraft are powered by two-row turbofan engines: the Boeing 737 is powered by the Boeing 737-300, while the Airbus A320 utilizes CFM International's CFM56-5-A1 or IAE V2500-A1.

Furthermore, both models of the A320 can be upgraded with a modern engine type. For instance, Airbus' re-engineered A320neo offers up to 15% greater fuel economy compared to current engines in older A320 models.

The main distinction between the A320's engine and that of the 737 is its more circular shape. This allows them to sit higher on board, offering better aerodynamic efficiency by allowing wings that are thinner and longer for greater lift and fuel economy.

Another distinguishing feature are the winglets. The 737 has angular,'split scimitar'-style winglets which point upward and downward; in comparison, the A320 boasts perfectly round winglets which reduce drag and provide a better flight experience.

They also help reduce noise and emissions, making them more eco-friendly and beneficial to airlines that operate them as it can result in significant cost savings when it comes to maintenance costs.

Moreover, the A320 is capable of being equipped with an extra center fuselage tank which extends its range from 3,440 km to 5,280 km. This allows it to fly across America without needing to utilize long-haul airports and also increases passenger capacity by carrying additional fuel on board.

Both aircraft have earned a stellar reputation for dependability and ease of maintenance. Upgrading them with newer systems that are often straightforward to install can significantly enhance performance or safety levels, depending on what needs improvement.

Airbus' re-engineered A320neo utilizes modern technology and boosts the efficiency of its turbofans, improving engine noise control, emissions reduction, and fuel consumption by up to 15%. This will enable airlines to charge less for flights while passengers experience enhanced comfort, speed, and safety.


When it comes to aircraft travel, a comfortable seat is key in creating an enjoyable experience for passengers. That is why airlines invest so much money in providing their planes with the best seats possible.

The Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 differ in that the latter has wider cabins than its counterpart, allowing airlines to fit more people per row. This is especially helpful if you are flying coach; with average seat widths around seven inches on both planes, this could significantly impact your comfort level.

One major distinction between the 737 and A320 is that the former features larger windows, but they are situated lower in the fuselage, making it difficult for tall people to get a clear view. On the other hand, A320s feature windows positioned higher up so everyone can enjoy an unobstructed view of outside world.

There are also notable differences between the cockpits of these two jets. The Airbus boasts a more spacious layout, featuring an ample tray table and comfortable seats, along with an updated pushbutton annunciator light combo for improved convenience. In contrast, the 737 boasts a cramped and uninviting cockpit environment.

Finally, if you examine the engines of each aircraft closely, you may be able to distinguish which is which. Airbus engines are symmetrically round while Boeing 737 engines have flattened bottoms; this prevents pod strikes - where an engine could contact the ground during take-off or landing due to an accidental roll.

Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 both boast impressive reliability and efficiency levels, though their features may differ slightly. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference when choosing between them; either aircraft will suffice in most circumstances.

Fuel Consumption

One of the major concerns Airbus and Boeing face is fuel efficiency. To reduce their overall costs, aircraft manufacturers are constantly working to reduce fuel used per flight, helping airlines cut back on operating their planes.

Since 1968, fuel usage for newer airplanes has decreased by 45%, leading to significant savings for airlines that own them. This has helped reduce global carbon dioxide emissions and made a positive difference for the environment.

When considering fuel efficiency of an aircraft, it's essential to recognize that each aircraft utilizes different types of fuel depending on how its engines function. This ensures optimum flight capabilities for each aircraft.

For instance, the engines on a Boeing 737 appear circular when viewed from the front; by comparison, those in an Airbus A320 are elliptical in shape and much smaller.

These distinctions can lead to a substantial difference in fuel consumption between these two aircraft, so it's essential that you are aware of them so you can make an informed decision for your fleet and company.

The A320 is a longstanding and highly efficient narrow body airliner that has been around for nearly 25 years. It comes in various seating configurations, such as 140-seat or 180-seat versions.

In 2010, Airbus unveiled their A320neo, or "new engine option." This fuel-saving version of the A320 offers 15% less fuel usage and 17% savings on longer sectors - offering airlines significant cost-saving opportunities.

This new engine option from CFM International utilizes the LEAP-1A turbo engine and incorporates fuel-saving large wing tip devices known as sharklets. Deliveries of the A320neo are expected to begin in spring 2016, and it is being offered to both existing and new Airbus clients alike.

The A320neo is designed to maximize fuel efficiency on both short and long routes, making it a great option for many airlines. Not only are the fuel savings and reduced noise levels worth the additional cost, but it also helps save the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions during flights.


The Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 are two of the most sought-after narrowbody aircraft on the market. Both jetliners can comfortably carry many passengers, but their operation comes at a higher cost due to higher maintenance requirements.

Both aircraft are designed for short-haul flights and feature cabins arranged in a 3-3 layout. However, their internal designs differ significantly, potentially impacting maintenance costs.

One way to distinguish the Boeing 737 from an Airbus 320 is by looking at their engine design. The Boeing 737 features an almost flat cowling at the bottom, while the Airbus A320 has a circular cowling.

Another way to distinguish these aircraft is by looking at their wingtips. Both have winglets which reduce drag, making them more fuel-efficient.

In addition to saving fuel, these wingtips also increase stability for the aircraft. This helps them remain aloft longer, enabling them to fly farther and faster.

The 737 has a hydraulically controlled rudder to help pilots maintain control during takeoff and landing, as well as help them avoid colliding with the ground if their aircraft swerves excessively.

On a Boeing 737, an expansive control yoke is situated in front of the pilot seats. Conversely, on an Airbus A320, there's only one sidestick and retractable tray table so that pilots can use one hand to maneuver their aircraft.

Comparing to the traditional yoke system, this one provides pilots with greater control and coordination. Furthermore, it makes them less likely to crash since they can handle emergencies more effectively.

Both airplanes are very safe, but the A320 has slightly lower accident rates than the 737 due to its design for more dense air traffic while the A320 excels at handling crosswinds better.

Both airplanes are highly efficient and capable of reaching nearly any destination on Earth. Furthermore, both aircraft are renowned for their dependability; you can fly them for hours on end without any issue.

The Difference Between Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 (2024)
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