I know that the Tu-144 had the first prototype flight and it also beat Concorde in reaching supersonic speed, but what I am really curious to know is which design carried passengers first (not crew and test engineers only) as a commercially operated aircraft. Is it still the Tu-144 or was it Concorde? Could anyone offer some insight, please?

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    $\begingroup$ Besides crew and test engineers it is quite possible that several other people flew on Concorde prior to the official launch of commercial service, such as company executives from the manufacturer or one or more airlines. But it would probably be difficult to find any published records of this. And anyway the question specifies flying as a commercially operated aircraft, which would mean flights carrying paid passengers or cargo. $\endgroup$ Feb 13 at 14:47

2 Answers 2


Concorde was first by almost two years:

Aircraft Maiden Flight First Commercial Flight Source
Concorde 2 March 1969 21 January 1976 (London → Bahrain & Paris → Dakar → Rio de Janeiro) simpleflying.com
Tu-144 31 December 1968 1 November 1977 (Moscow → Alma-Ata) Kazan National Reserach Technical University

The Tu-144 commenced commercial on the 1st of November 1977 (according to Sinsheim Museum)

According to some sources the first commercial flights of the Concorde took place on the 21st of January 1976. (On that day two Concords flew with flight numbers AF085 & BA300)

So the Concorde was the first to transport "real" passengers.


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