Boeing 757 vs. 777: How Do They Compare?

The narrowbody Boeing 757 and widebody Boeing 777 are quite different aircraft, both physically, and in terms of the main markets that they serve.

These two aircraft embarked on their first commercial flights in 1983 and 1995 respectively. The 757 production run ended in 2005, having been succeeded by new aircraft such as the Boeing 787. Whilst many 757s have now been retired, significant numbers are still operated by Delta Airlines and FedEx. The younger 777 is still in production and remains a popular aircraft in many airline fleets around the world.

In this article, I’ll compare these two aircraft from a number of different perspectives, just as we have done before with different aircraft pairings like the 737 and 757.

Boeing 757 vs. 777


The 757 was developed by Boeing in tandem with its counterpart 767, and both aircraft featured new ‘glass’ cockpits designed for a flight crew of two. It first began flying commercially in 1983, but is no longer in production, with the last 757 rolling out way back in 2005.

The 777, on the other hand, continues its production run with its newer variants (777-8 and 777-9).  

The 757 was produced in only two main variants – the 757-200 and the 757-300. The 757-200 was later developed into freighter and convertible models.

Significant customers for the 757 included major US airlines, European charter airlines, and cargo companies. The 757 is well suited to short- and mid-range services and transcontinental US routes. In 1986, the 757 was approved to fly ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operations Performance Standards) operations allowing it to operate on intercontinental routes.

The 757 variants are listed below:

Aircraft Model Type First In Service
757-200 Passenger 1983
757-200PF Freighter 1987
757-200M Convertible 1988
757-200SF/PCF Convertible 2001
757-300 Passenger 1998

Boeing 757-300

The 777-200 was launched in 1989 following studies for a higher capacity 767, and to fill the gap in Boeing’s product catalog between the 747 and the 767. The first 777-200 delivery took place in 1995 and was followed by an increased weight and range variant – the 777-200ER, which entered service in 1997.

ETOPS (180 minutes) approval for the 777 came in 1995 with the launch of the 777-200.

After the 777-200, Boeing developed a stretched 777. With a length of almost 74m, the 777-300 became the longest airliner ever produced until it was superseded by Airbus A340-600. The 777-300 delivered 20% more capacity compared to the 777-200, and went into service in 1998.

In 2000, Boeing launched its next-generation twinjet program. The first model to emerge from the program, the 777-300ER went into service in 2004 and went on to become a hugely successful product, combining the capacity of the 777-300 with the 777-200ER’s range.  A second long-range model, the 777-200LR, went into airline service in 2006.

The 777F went into service in 2009 and was based on the structural design and engine specifications of the 777-200LR, and fuel tanks that were derived from the 777-300ER.

Boeing 777 Freighter

In 2013, Boeing formally launched the 777-8 and 777-9. The 777-9 will be a stretched, higher capacity version of the 777-8 with a slightly lower range.  Both models are to be equipped with new generation GE9X engines and feature new composite wings with folding wingtips. At 76.72m long, the 777-9 will supersede the 76.25m-long 747-8 as the world’s longest airliner.

Delivery of these latest 777 aircraft has been delayed a number of times, with Boeing now estimating 2025 for the 777-9.  

The main 777 variants are listed below:

Aircraft Model Type First In Service
777-200 Passenger 1995
777-200ER Passenger 1997
777-200LR Passenger 2006
777-300 Passenger 1998
777-300ER Passenger 2004
777F Freighter 2009
777-8 Passenger
777-8F Freighter 2027 (est.)
777-9 Passenger 2025 (est.)


Let’s take a look at some key physical characteristics and see how the passenger versions of these two aircraft measure up against each other:

Aircraft Model Length (m) Wingspan (m) Fuselage Width (m) MTOW (t)
757-200 47.3 38.0 3.76 115.7
757-300 54.4 123.8
777-200/ 200ER 63.73 60.93 5.86 247.2 – 297.6
777-200LR 64.80 347.5
777-300 73.86 60.93 299.4
777-300ER 64.80 351.5
777F 63.73 347.8
777-8 69.79 72.80/ 64.85 (folded) 5.96 351.5
777-8F 70.9 365.1
777-9 76.72 351.5

As you would expect, the wide-body 777 is longer, wider, and heavier in all respects compared to its narrow-body 757 counterpart.

Boeing 777-300ER


The 757 variants have ranges of 6,300 – 7,100km. All 777 variants, including freighters, have longer ranges (8,600 – 16,200km), with the 777-8 expected to have the longest range of all 777 variants. 

Aircraft Model Range
B757-200 3,850nm (7,130km)
B757-300 3,395nm (6,288km)
777-200 5,240nm (9,700km)
777-200ER 7,065nm (13,080km)
777-200LR 8,555 nm (15,843 km)
777-300 6,030nm (11,165km)
777-300ER 7,370 nm (13,649 km)
777-300ERSF 4,650nm (8,610km)
777F 4,970nm (9,200km)
777-8 8,730nm (16,170km)
777-8F 4,410nm (8,170km)
777-9 7,285nm (13,500km)

The 757 was originally targeted at hub and point-to-point carriers operating short- to mid-range transcontinental routes. Later, however, it got ETOPS-certified. This allowed it to operate intercontinental routes, including transatlantic routes, boosting sales.

The 777 was designed to bridge the gap between Boeing’s other widebody aircraft – the 767 and the 747, and also to replace older aircraft such as DC-10s and L-1011s. Therefore, the ability to fly long-haul was an important design factor. The 777-200LR, and the 777-300ER (and the 777-8, and the 777-9) have impressive ranges enabling the 777 to serve some of the world’s longest commercial air routes.

Boeing 757-200

Seat Capacity and Cabin Layout

The 757 typically carries anywhere between around 180 and 260 passengers in typical 2-class cabin configurations, compared to the existing higher capacity 777 variants that carry between 280 and 400 passengers in typical 2-class cabin configurations.

The 777-9 will have even higher capacity, with Boeing suggesting more than 420 seats in a 2-class configuration.

Airlines have fitted out these aircraft in 1-class, 2-class, 3-class, and even 4-class configurations, and actual seat numbers vary greatly depending on the number of classes, the proportion of the cabin dedicated to premium cabins, and whether flatbed seats are installed in the premium cabins. Therefore, for each aircraft, I’ve looked at how a variety of different airlines have actually configured their cabins.

For the 757 I looked at Azur Air, Condor, Delta Airlines, Icelandair, and Jet2. Typical seat numbers are set out in the table below:

Aircraft 1-class 2-class 3-class
757-200 235 – 238 183 142 – 199
757-300 225 – 262 234

You can see that seating numbers vary significantly even for the same aircraft with the same number of cabins, for the reasons stated above.

The 757 interior allows cabin configurations of up to six seats per row in economy class with a single central aisle. Where business class is fitted, the seating configuration is typically 2-2.

Boeing 757 Cabin

For the 777, Boeing indicates the following typical 2-class seating capacities:

  • 777-200ER/LR: 315
  • 777-300ER: 396
  • 777-8: 384
  • 777-9: 426

I researched the seating plans for carriers with large 777 fleets such as Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, American Airlines, Air New Zealand, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines to find typical seat numbers for 2, 3, and 4-class cabin configurations:

Airlines Aircraft Model(s) No. of Classes Average Total Seats
·  Emirates

·  Qatar Airways

777-200LR 2 283
·  United Airlines,

·  Emirates

·  American Airlines

·  British Airways

777-200, 777-200LR, 777-200ER 3 309
·  British Airways 777-200ER 4 234
·  Cathay Pacific

·  Emirates

·  Qatar Airways

777-300, 777-300ER 2 398
·  Emirates

·  Cathay Pacific

·  Air New Zealand

·  Qatar Airways

·  United Airlines

777-300, 777-300ER 3 350
·  British Airways

·  American Airlines

·  Cathay Pacific

·  Singapore Airlines

777-300ER 4 283

The twin-aisle 777 typically has 3 to 4 seats abreast in first-class cabins, 4 to 6 seats in business class (with 8 seats abreast in British Airways’ opposing seat’ layout), 8 seats in premium economy, and 9 to 10 seats in economy class.

Boeing 777 Cabin

Customers and Orders

Boeing received a total of 1,217 orders for the 757 (all variants) but delivered 1,049 aircraft (86% of orders). Customers which placed orders and then later canceled some options included Delta Airlines/Northwest, American Airlines, United Airlines, GPA Group, US Airways, Air Europe, and America West.

The vast majority of the 757 deliveries (95%) were for the 757-200 variants.

Boeing 757 Deliveries by Variant

Airline customers that ordered the 757 were spread worldwide. That said, it was the large US carriers that placed the biggest orders as the 757 offers flexibility to operate on USA domestic routes and, following its ETOPS certification, is also able to fly on transatlantic and other inter-continental services.

Of the 757 aircraft remaining in service today, Delta and American Airlines are by far the largest operators.  

By the end of July 2022, Boeing had received 2,333 orders for the 777 in total since its launch in 1990. The most popular 777 to date is the 777-300ER which received a total of 880 orders, or 38% of the total 777 orders.

Boeing 777 Orders by Variant

The top 777 customer to date is Emirates which has ordered a total of 291 777s, followed by Qatar Airways which has ordered 159 777s. United Airlines is the top US customer with 127 orders so far.

To date there are 432 unfulfilled orders for 777 aircraft, as follows:

  • 777-300ER – 6 aircraft
  • 777-X (777-8 and 777-9) – 341 aircraft, with nearly two-thirds of these going to Middle Eastern carriers
  • 777F – 85 aircraft.

Boeing 777-200ER

Boeing 757 vs. 777: Summary

The 757 and 777 are quite different aircraft. Whilst both are twinjets with ETOPS certification, the 757 is a narrowbody aircraft, and the 777 is a widebody.

These two aircraft are also quite different physically. The 757 is smaller in all respects compared to the 777, and all variants of the 777 have longer ranges than the 757 variants.

The 757 is no longer in production, whereas the newer versions of the 777 are open for orders, with Boeing having secured large orders for its 777-8 and 777-9 aircraft, with the first 777-9 deliveries due in 2025.

Overall, the 777 has received around twice as many orders as the 757. 

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