More passengers than ever are expected to fly in 2018. IATA puts the number at 4.3 billion, which is 0.23 billion more than last year. And with more seats filling up, airlines have to increase their fleet size to accommodate the extra passengers.
At Yieldr, we were curious about which airline fleets will be growing in the near future. We analyzed the numbers and found the airlines with the biggest fleet growth per region.
How We Conducted Our Analysis
Our approach was to compare aircraft backorders against current fleet sizes.
Airline Fleet Numbers
To determine the current fleet size of each airline, we retrieved fleet figures from various public sources on April 13, 2018, on the condition that the airlines were active scheduled airlines with at least 1 aircraft. This resulted in 764 airlines.
Unfilled Aircraft Orders
We compiled the total number of unfilled orders for these airlines from the 2 biggest aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing. We used the following reports to determine the quantity of aircraft that still need to be delivered:
- Airbus Commercial Aircraft orders and deliveries March 2018
- Boeing unfilled orders by customer through March 31, 2018
We did not include backorders from other aircraft manufacturers (for example, Bombardier, Embraer, Tupolev) in our analysis due to the timing of available data and smaller market share of these manufacturers.
Airline Fleet Growth
Finally, we calculated the growth of each airline's fleet by comparing the aircraft backorders to each airline's current fleet. This growth was then sorted to determine the highest growth across the world and per region: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North America.
In our analysis, we found that the growth rates were higher for smaller airlines – that is, airlines with fleets of 20 or less aircraft. Therefore we presented two views of growth: growth for airlines with 1-20 aircraft and growth for airlines with more than 20 aircraft.
It’s good to note here that the airlines with the biggest growth were not necessarily the ones with the highest backorders.
Our findings are in the infographic below. You can also download it as a PDF file.