A key topic for discussion over the past year has been aircraft retirements. Would COVID-19 cause thousands of aircraft to retire this year, causing the market to be flooded with surplus parts and engines? So far, we’ve not seen the wave of retirements that were predicted.
The latest data indicates that ~612 air transport aircraft have been retired up to the start of December 2020. That’s made up of 306 narrowbodies, 243 widebodies, 21 turboprops, and 41 RJs.
In 2019, ~ 666 aircraft retired. It’s likely that 2020 will end up with more retirements than last year once the final count is in, but not yet the level that was feared. Why not thousands? Well, airlines and lessors have been watching the market closely, waiting to see if traffic recovers, how quickly the vaccine rollout happens, and keeping aircraft parked – delaying the decision to permanently remove the aircraft from the fleet (or bring them back into revenue service).
~12,670 aircraft were retired since 2000 at an average of 603 per year. Retirements peaked in 2012 at 883 aircraft. Narrowbodies comprise ~52% of retired aircraft and widebodies ~22%.
It’s still likely that many of the aircraft currently parked won’t return to service. But, they aren’t being cannibalized just yet.
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...