Flightglobal's Commercial Fleet Forecast

What is in this forecast?

The report covers all aircraft used in commercial passenger operations of 20 seats or above, although excluding the fleet of Soviet-era types for which history is limited. Coverage is split by the six world regions – Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America – plus China which is treated as a separate region in its own right. All forecasts are split by eight seating categories identical to those used in Flightglobal’s ACAS fleet database.

Figures are generally given down to aircraft model series, although for the long-term elements of the forecast, these should be read as indicative of the general size and shape of aircraft rather than a literal prediction. We do not attempt to include short-term discontinuities or cycles in the forecast, although the model can be used to gauge the likely long-term impact of industry shocks. However, medium term trends, such as evidence of a pending delivery slowdown, do feature in the report. 


ChinaExample Extract - China

Analysis of the Chinese fleet is not straight forward because data on all of the Russian and Chinese built aircraft is hard to come by. However, data on western built and eastern types aimed at the global market is good. These are the types that will be contributing growth to these fleets.

Fleet growth in China has been dramatic over the last ten years. This is true in terms of the number of aircraft and seats. Enormous growth in the economy and fleet are predicted over the 20-year forecast period. By 2030, the fleet is forecast to total more than 5,500 aircraft with around one million seats.

The bulk of growth in fleet and capacity is expected to be in the 121-200 seat category.


China121-200 seats

The growth of the fleet in this segment has been the strongest of any in the region and closely correlated with the growth of China’s GDP.

We reduce this growth relationship slightly going forward because the order book does not support continuation of such growth. There has been some slow growth in the average seats per aircraft.

This is a global trend and is forecast to continue over the forecast period.The bulk of capacity is provided by Boeing 737s and the Airbus A320 family and this is set to continue for some time.

Both are set to face serious competition for growth capacity from new entrants with improved efficiency claims in the form of the Bombardier CS300 in 2013 and the locally made Comac C919 in 2016.