A quarter of the more than 3,000 mainline jets due for delivery over the next 21 months are owned and/or managed by operating lessors.

Cirium fleets data reveals that airlines globally are due to receive over 2,700 Airbus and Boeing passenger aircraft through to the end of 2021, either directly or via operating lease. This count includes an estimated 880 Boeing 737 Max deliveries during that period.

Of the 2,700 deliveries scheduled, 460 aircraft due to be delivered via a lessor. A further 350 aircraft are due to go to lessors during the period where the end-user has not been identified by Cirium.

The data from Cirium shows that over half (460 aircraft) of the 800-plus airliners scheduled are destined for four leasing companies: Air Lease (149), AerCap (126), Avolon (100) and GECAS (93).

2020-21 lessor deliveries due by company  
   Placed     Unplaced*        Total
Air Lease 107 42 149
AerCap 70 56 126
Avolon 47 53 100
GECAS 38 55 93
SMBC Aviation Capital 48 33 81
BOC Aviation 47 21 68
Aviation Capital Group 22 17 39
CDB Aviation 10 22 32
ALAFCO  11 20 31
Boeing Capital 22 2 24
ICBC Leasing 18 0 18
VEB-Leasing 2 15 17
China Aircraft Leasing  3 13 16
Sberbank Leasing 10 0 10
Novus Aviation 4 0 4
Jackson Square Aviation 1 0 1
Total 460 349 809
*Where Cirium has not identified end-user  
Airbus/Boeing passenger aircraft deliveries due
Source: Cirium fleets data (March 2020)    

Cirium data reveals that Brazilian airline Azul has the highest number of lease commitments in the near-term, with 29 leased A320 family aircraft and a single leased A330neo due over the next 21 months. Providers include AerCap, Avolon, BOC Aviation and CDB Aviation. Other large near-term lease commitments are held by Vistara (22 A320 family) and American Airlines (21 Boeing 787s).

From an aircraft-type perspective, the vast majority (88%) are single-aisles: 358 737 Max jets and 348 Airbus A320 family aircraft. The most popular widebody for delivery to lessors over the next 20 months or so is the 787, with 68 due.

2020-21 lessor deliveries due - by type
737 Max 358
A320 family 348
787 63
A330 19
A350 12
777 5
A220 4
Total 809
Airbus/Boeing passenger aircraft deliveries due
Source: Cirium fleets data (March 2020)

However, the lessors’ exposure to future deliveries would normally go beyond the aircraft they have on direct order. Data from Cirium shows that traditionally around 30% of aircraft delivered each year directly to airlines are sold to a lessor and leased back to the operator at the point of title transfer.

This potentially means that it could be expected that lessors could have been exposed to another 800+ deliveries over the next 20 months – putting the possible total operating-lease commitment at 1,600 aircraft.