Aircraft retirement is typically a financial decision driven by a desire not to invest in maintenance due to newer or existing technology aircraft being available to substitute.
The graphic below explores the retirements since 2001 and shows what these are as a % of the active fleet. We can see that retirements, as a % of the active fleet, have hovered between 1.8% and 3.4%. The average was ~2.5%.
There have been ~12,585 aircraft retirements since 2001. Retirements peaked in 2012 with ~890 aircraft retiring. On average, there have been ~620 aircraft retirements per year over the last decade.
So far, ~465 aircraft have been officially retired in 2020. There’s a lag in the data, and we expect that by the end of 2020, more aircraft will retire, including some aircraft that are currently parked that ultimately won’t return to flying.
Also, many aircraft retired so far in 2020 were already planned to retire before COVID hit.
However, this doesn’t mean they will be parted-out straightaway. In recent years, approximately 400-500 aircraft have been parted-out per year. 2020 part-outs might be lower given the delay/work stoppage due to COVID and concern over prices to pay for assets at a time when buyers don’t want to overpay, and sellers don’t want to sell too cheaply.
Date: March 12 , 2021
Reviewing 2020 Aircraft Retirements
So, how many air transport aircraft retired in 2020? Thousands? Nope. 2020 did not yield the thousands of retirements that had been feared. Though the final tally will be subject to revision in the coming months, so f...
Date: January 18 , 2021
Norwegian Air Shuttle Fights for Survival
On the 14th of January, Norwegian Air Shuttle announced plans to focus on short-haul flying and abandon long-haul. Norwegian’s quest for profitability long preceded COVID-19. The restructuring plan calls for 50 nar...
Date: January 12 , 2021
Calmer weather is on the horizon. Outlook for 2021
Aviation leaders tend to be optimists. Each dawn, they believe, promises a new start. The storm clouds will pass, they confidently say. We are lucky that our industry was is full of engineers, strategists, and planner...