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Aircraft vs. Airbus — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Urooj Arif — Updated on May 20, 2024
Aircraft is a general term for any flying vehicle, while Airbus is a specific company that manufactures commercial aircraft.
Aircraft vs. Airbus — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Aircraft and Airbus


Key Differences

Aircraft refers to any vehicle capable of atmospheric flight, including airplanes, helicopters, gliders, and drones. The term encompasses a wide range of flying machines used for various purposes such as transportation, military, and recreational activities. Airbus, on the other hand, is a prominent aerospace manufacturer that specializes in designing and producing commercial aircraft.
Aircraft can vary widely in size, function, and design, from small private planes to large military jets. Airbus specifically focuses on commercial aviation, producing models like the A320, A350, and the double-decker A380, which are used by airlines around the world.
While aircraft as a category includes any flying vehicle regardless of manufacturer, Airbus aircraft are known for their innovative designs and contributions to commercial aviation.
Aircraft design and development can be attributed to multiple companies and entities, whereas Airbus has a distinct brand identity and reputation in the aviation industry. Airbus, along with Boeing, is one of the largest and most recognized commercial aircraft manufacturers globally.

Comparison Chart


Any vehicle capable of flight
A specific company manufacturing aircraft


Airplanes, helicopters, drones
A320, A350, A380


General category
Specific manufacturer


Includes commercial, military, private
Primarily commercial aviation

Notable Models

Varied (Cessna, F-16, etc.)
A320, A350, A380

Compare with Definitions


A general term for flying vehicles.
The air show featured various aircraft, including jets and gliders.


Competes with Boeing in the aviation market.
Airbus and Boeing dominate the global aircraft market.


Used for transportation, military, and recreation.
Private aircraft can land at smaller airports.


Known for models like the A320 and A350.
The new Airbus A350 offers improved fuel efficiency.


A vehicle capable of flight.
The Wright brothers built the first powered aircraft.


A European aerospace manufacturer.
Airbus is known for its innovative commercial jets.


Any machine that flies through the air.
Helicopters and drones are types of aircraft.


Specializes in commercial aviation.
The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger airliner.


Includes airplanes, helicopters, and gliders.
Commercial aircraft transport passengers across the globe.


A company that designs and produces aircraft.
Many airlines operate Airbus A320 aircraft.


An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.


Airbus SE (; French: [ɛʁbys] (listen); German: [ˈɛːɐ̯bʊs] (listen); Spanish: [ˈejɾbus]) is a European multinational aerospace corporation. As of 2019, Airbus is the world's largest airliner manufacturer and took the most airliner orders, surpassing rival Boeing.


An aeroplane, helicopter, or other machine capable of flight.


A subsonic jet airliner, especially a wide-bodied one.


A machine or device, such as an airplane, helicopter, glider, dirigible, or drone, capable of atmospheric flight.


A subsonic jet airliner operated over short distances


A vehicle capable of atmospheric flight due to interaction with the air, such as buoyancy or lift


Any vehicle, such as an airplane, helicopter, balloon, etc., for floating in, or flying through, the air.


A vehicle that can fly

Common Curiosities

What does Airbus refer to?

Airbus refers to a European aerospace company that manufactures commercial aircraft.

Are all aircraft made by Airbus?

No, aircraft can be made by various manufacturers, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and others.

Is a helicopter considered an aircraft?

Yes, a helicopter is a type of aircraft.

What types of aircraft does Airbus make?

Airbus primarily makes commercial airplanes like the A320, A350, and A380.

What is the largest aircraft made by Airbus?

The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger aircraft made by Airbus.

Is Airbus the only manufacturer of commercial aircraft?

No, Boeing is another major manufacturer of commercial aircraft.

What distinguishes Airbus aircraft?

Airbus aircraft are known for their advanced technology and design.

What is an aircraft?

An aircraft is any vehicle capable of flight, such as airplanes, helicopters, and drones.

Are gliders considered aircraft?

Yes, gliders are a type of aircraft that can fly without an engine.

What is a notable Airbus innovation?

The Airbus A350 is known for its fuel-efficient design and advanced materials.

Does Airbus make military aircraft?

While primarily focused on commercial aircraft, Airbus also produces military transport aircraft.

Can aircraft refer to drones?

Yes, drones are considered a type of aircraft.

Do Airbus and Boeing make similar aircraft?

Yes, both companies produce similar types of commercial aircraft.

What industries use aircraft?

Aircraft are used in transportation, military, agriculture, and recreation.

Does Airbus produce small private planes?

Airbus primarily focuses on large commercial jets rather than small private planes.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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