For our fans of all ages: How high and fast does it fly?

At Schiphol, we are asked dozens of questions every day about aircraft – like how heavy a plane is, or how high and fast it can safely travel. Time for some answers!

Image airplane

How high can a plane fly?

The altitudes are based on the aircraft, its weight, and the current atmospheric conditions. Every flight has its own ideal cruising altitude. This is the sweet spot where plane fly as fast as possible, but burn the least amount of fuel. A Boeing 747 has a cross height of 35,105 ft, while the Embraer climbs 190 to 39,370 ft. The Airbus A380 can even fly at 43,097 ft. At the bottom of this page, you will find an overview of the cruising altitudes of the most common aircraft at Schiphol.

How fast can a plane fly?

Aircraft are extremely fast – certainly faster than your car or bicycle. Of course, the aircraft, its weight, and the current atmospheric conditions are of importance. The Airbus A380 can reach speeds of more than 1,000 kilometres per hour! Now the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (907 km/h) and Boeing 777 (905 km/h) aren’t that fast, but still three times faster than a Formula 1 racing car. See below the speeds of the most common aircraft on Schiphol.

How heavy is a plane?

The wider and bigger the plane, the heavier it is. The wide body aircraft, such as the Boeing 747 (183,520 kg) and Airbus A330 (120,000 kg), are heavier than the narrow body aircraft Boeing 737 (41,413 kg), Airbus A320 (42,400 kg) and Embraer 175 (21,890 kg). Planes have a maximum take-off weight. For the Airbus A380 it is 575,000 kilograms! You can find the empty weight and take-off weight of the most common aircraft at Schiphol below.

How many passengers can be seated on a plane?

That depends on how many seats there are in the aircraft. The larger planes, such as the Boeing 747, 777, 787 and the Airbus A330 and A380, have much more seats than the smaller Embraer 190, Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. The A380 can transport most passengers (516 seats), followed by the Boeing 747 and 777 (408 seats). Scroll down to see the number of seats in the most common planes at Schiphol.

How many aircraft are there at Schiphol?

In an average month like September, 746 aircraft will arrive at Schiphol and an almost equal number leaves again. This means that 1,492 airplanes per day taxi along our runways. The small aircraft are the most common. For example, the Airbus A320 is here 148 times a day, followed by the Boeing 737 (96) and the Embraer 190 (96). If we do not count the freighters, we welcome 11 Boeing 747s, 15 Dreamliners (787), 34 Airbus A330s and two Airbus A380s on average.

Plane facts and figures

Speed in km/u* Altitude in ft*

takeoff weight in kg* Empty weight in kg* Number of seats* Schiphol daily*

Boeing 747 920 35,105 396,890 183,520 408 11
Boeing 737 850 35,000 78,240 41,413 186 96
Boeing 777 905 35,000 351,500 160,500 408 28
Boeing 787 Dreamliner 907 40,026 250,836 118,000 294 15
Embraer 190 829 39,370 51,800 27,837 100 96
Embraer 175 797 39,370 40,370 21,890 88 42
Airbus A320 967 36,089 77,000 42,400 180 148
Airbus A330 950 36,089 230,000 120,000 292 34
Airbus A380 1.041 43,097 575,000 275,000 516 2

* The figures in this table are an approximation and may differ by airline.