Airlines vs. Airways

Main Difference

While booking tickets for traveling you would have often heard the words airlines and airways, both used but we have never paid any attention to it that what is the difference and why are these separate terms used. Generally, there is not a huge difference between the two terms, basically, it is just a matter of choice that some people prefer to use airlines while some people prefer airways. Both these companies operate in the same way and do the same work but the separate terms are for marketing purposes, some companies feel that the word airlines is very classy while some feel that airways are more sophisticated and these names are also used by companies to attract more passengers. Although for the passengers traveling there is not much difference between the names as they only care about reaching their destined destinations with good facilities and lows costs. But for companies, they feel that adding airlines or airways would add a catchy effect while some go even different and just add air before or after their names such as Korean Air and Air France. The names might be important for the elite or businessmen because they feel that telling their colleagues or business competitors the unique name of the company will increase their business or impress or jealous their competitors. The basic difference is just that, in which the airlines are a company that operates aircraft while airways is a specific route used by the aircraft to navigate like a prescribed road in the sky. Although airlines and airways have the same meaning they have adopted different names and created small differences between them just for the marketing of their company.

Airlines vs. Airways — Is There a Difference?

Difference Between Airlines and Airways

Airlines vs. Airways

The basic difference is just between the two words that some companies prefer airlines as it is catchier while some prefer airways as it sounds more sophisticated.

Airlines vs. Airways

An airline is a company that operates the aircraft while the company airways follow a prescribed or preset route while the airlines do not.

Airlines vs. Airways

Airways has a small piston engine while the airlines do not.

Airlines vs. Airways

Airlines are driven at higher altitudes or heights while the airways are driven at shorter altitudes.

Airlines vs. Airways

Airways are used for shorter routes whereas this is not the case for airlines.

Airlines vs. Airways

Airways are also known as victors while no name is given to the airlines.


Airlines vs. Airways

The routes of the airways are also known as highways of the sky while there is no such name for the route of airlines.

Comparison Chart

Airlines Airways
A company that operates the aircrafts Follows a prescribed or preset route
Has a small piston engine Does not have a small one
Longer route Smaller route
Highways of the sky None

What are Airlines?

In general, an airline is a company that operates airlines or aircraft or the most commonly used term airplanes. Airlines also transport cargo and heavy freight along with carrying passengers to their destinations. Airlines vary widely in their size, from small to huge airlines. Airlines follow a specific schedule of flights that it will fly at sharp this time and land at sharp this time and the passengers can buy tickets directly from the travel agents or the company of airlines. They have almost all the facilities for passengers traveling in the airplane from food to sleeping comfort and recreation like music and television. The air industry has prospered a lot and thus they do not leave any stone unturned in the facilitation of their passengers and the passengers traveling are their top priority because once the passengers will get a good experience from the airlines, they will prefer to travel from the same airlines again and again. There are both local as well as international airlines. American Airlines and Northwest airlines and PIA, Pakistan International Airlines are some famous airlines.

What are Airways?

The term Airways basically means a special routing or navigation of various air crafts or airplanes, which is well defined particular route which the airways follow. These are also known as the highways of the sky or simpler words streets of the sky. Like for instance, on roads we follow a well-defined track and do not go astray but follow the track as it is constructed, the same case is of airways it follows the specified route and does not go here and there. Just like streets, the airways are unidirectional as well as bidirectional meaning they can go both ways following the same route. Airways are of different sizes, having facilities for passengers. Most of the pilots flying airways, follow directions of the routes provided to them, this is the only difference that separates it from the word airlines. The most famous airways is British airways.


Airlines and Airways are two terms which for some people have meant the same and for others they are different. As explained in this article, they are the same which only seem different because of the different forms of English language that are American and British ones. Hopefully, this article will help in knowing more about the two terms.