Best cruising altitude for commercial aircraft

What is the best cruising altitude in terms of fuel efficiency for a 737? Or for any/all commercial aircraft?

What’s up man, Tyler just put out a pretty good tutorial on finding a good cruise altitude. For the 737, somewhere in the mid 30,000’s is good. Different aircraft cruise at different ranges though, you can look on flight radar 24 and filter for a specific aircraft if you want to see where a specific aircraft cruises at. But typically, for the 737, find a cruising altitude where your n1 is in the low to mid 80’s.


First you want your heading, East is odd altitude eg fl350 and west is even eg fl340


Those are examples not specifically for the 737

Depends primarily on your weight. For example, I flew a 739 at 63% load and could climb straight up to FL380. However, when I flew the same plane at 90% load and had to start around FL340 and step climb (It was a transcon). Generally, Mid 30s (340-370) is a good “weighted average” altitude.

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On a 737, I like this
Super heavy: FL200 or under
Heavy: around FL240
Normal: FL 350
Light: FL380-FL400
Note, the b737 maximum Altitude is 40,000 feet

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If you make use of for the route that you want to fly you will get all the information that you need.

Fuel to load
Time of flight
Flight levels
When to step climb…and…
The VS for your climb and descend profiles!

It’s a great tool to make your IF experience enjoyable, stress free and realistic too

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I’m actually flying from Dublin to London with a 738 and the real cruise is of 38k ft, and that’s quite good, however if u use simbrief or fpltoif they will give u the best cruise altitude

I think 30,000 ft is a great cruising altitude for most commercial aircraft. Don’t forget about your descent!

Also keep in mind your flight time.
In real life my flights of around an hour were cruising at 22k ft (A320, 737)
Flights of less than 30 minutes only went up to 15k ft (Boeing 717)

It really depends on the atmosphere. Generally, jets cruising between 25,000 ft - 31,000 ft can maximize their ground speed. However, you should check the wind sp. and direction at different flight level prior your flight, so as to find a useful jet-steam to help your a/c arrive the destination faster.

One time I directly flew towards north after departing at LHR, so as to catch a jet-steam which helped to enter the Russia’s airspace quickly to catch another jet-steam back to Asia. The original flight time should be among 11-12 hrs approximately, but I finished the flight within 10 hrs from LHR back to Hong Kong.

Thanks everyone!

Exactly what I was looking for, thank you!

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