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I'm fairly sure that the Boeing 737 series will be in first place, with the Airbus A320 family coming second and perhaps the 727 third.

However, perhaps there are some estimates of actual figures that would provide more information.

See also Which individual aircraft has carried the most passengers in its lifetime? for a related question about passengers carried by an aircraft series.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do not forget the DC-3... $\endgroup$ – xxavier Dec 9 '18 at 12:29
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    $\begingroup$ @xxavier More 737s are flying right now at this moment than DC-3s were ever built. I don't think the DC-3 will be high in the charts at all. $\endgroup$ – Daniele Procida Dec 9 '18 at 14:55
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As you note the 737 and A320 have a huge leg up on most other aircraft simply by production numbers. The 737 is the unquestionably the most produced large passenger jet aircraft in history when compared to the A320 it has 20 years of extra flights under its belt which is a lot of time to move a lot of people. Its a bit dated but Boeing provides a bit of data on this and estimates:

• The 737 family has carried more than 16.8 billion passengers; that is equivalent to every single man, woman and child flying at least twice. (2013 world population was 7.1 billion).*

*As of December, 31, 2013

Airbus provides a similar stat estimating:

15,6+ billion passengers carried since Entry Into Service

As of November 2018

So it seems that the 737 is clearly in the lead over the A320 as 5 years ago they had already carried an estimated Billion more passengers than the A320 has as of last month.

These are the only two large commercial jet aircraft that even appear on the most produced aircraft list linked above. Other sources quote the 747 as carrying 3.5 Billion passengers, the 727 comes in around 2.2 Billion in its lifetime and the 757 is somewhere in the 1.3 Billion passenger range which is similar to the A330's 1.3 Billion (as of 2013) none of which even approach double digits so the 737 is clearly the leader from the estimates I can find.

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