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  • ANALYSIS: Fleet Watch - Year 2012

ANALYSIS: Fleet Watch - Year 2012

Commercial aviation continues to grow

The year 2012 was another strong year for commercial aviation as a record number of aircraft were delivered and order backlog reached an all-time high at the end of the year.

Net orders in 2012

The 2,582 net orders for 2012 represent a decrease of 11% on the previous year. Apart from the regional jet market, each market group received fewer orders.

Boeing emerged as the leader in the 2012 commercial order battle with 1,191 net orders, their strongest year since the all-time high of 2007. Airbus totalled 833 net orders, a decrease of 43% on the previous year. Bombardier received 35 orders for the CSeries and 120 for their range of regional aircraft, while Comac took in 115 orders for the C919. Mitsubishi received an order of 100 MRJ90s which are scheduled to be delivered from 2017. Embraer and Irkut received 56 and 35 net orders respectively in 2012.

Narrowbody net orders decreased by 11% on the previous year with a total of 2,034 in 2012. Boeing lead with 1,112 narrowobody orders, including 914 for the re-engined 737 Max. Airbus received 739 orders of which 478 were for the A320neo. Widebody net orders came in at 173, a decrease of 48% on the previous year. Airbus took in 94 widebody orders while Boeing received 79. Regional jets benefited with a year-on-year increase of more than 100% in 2012.

Indonesia’s Lion Air was responsible for the largest number of orders during the year as the operator ordered a total of 235 aircraft including 201 737 Max aircraft, 29 737 Next Generation (NG) aircraft and five 787s. Budget carrier Norwegian ordered the A320neo and 737 Max aircraft with 100 of each, as well as 22 737 NGs. United Airlines ordered 100 737 Max and 50 737 NG aircraft while AirAsia ordered 100 A320s including 64 Neo aircraft. The 100 MRJ90s ordered came from SkyWest Airlines, a deal valued at $8.4 billion at list price.

Lessor Air Lease ordered a total of 119 aircraft (75 737 Max aircraft, 36 A320neo aircraft, four ATR 72s, three A330s and a single Embraer 175) while GECAS ordered 91 aircraft (75 737 Max aircraft, 14 737 NGs and two Embraer 195s).

Other large orders came in during the year from Pegasus Airlines with 75 A320neo aircraft and BOC Aviation with 53 A320s (including 25 Neo aircraft) and 20 C919s.

Commercial aircraft deliveries in 2012

A total of 1,402 commercial aircraft deliveries took place in 2012 including 850 narrowbody and 307 widebody aircraft, an all-time high for both market groups. Regional jet and turboprop deliveries totalled 128 and 117, respectively.

It was an aircraft delivery record year for both Airbus and Boeing. Airbus delivered 577 commercial aircraft, 60 more than the year before. The manufacturer delivered 448 A320s, 97 A330s, 30 A380s and two A340s. Boeing delivered a total of 580 commercial aircraft, a significant 26% increase on the previous year. The company delivered 402 737s, 83 777s, 46 787s, 26 767s and 23 747s.

In the regional market, Bombardier and Embraer delivered 50 and 106 commercial aircraft, respectively. ATR delivered 60 commercial turboprops, an all-time high for the manufacturer.

From an operator region perspective, 44% of the commercial aircraft delivered in 2012 were for operators based in Asia-Pacific followed by Europe with 23%.

Order backlog at 31 December 2012

Airliner backlog ended the year at 10,833, including 4,660 for Airbus and 4,380 for Boeing. The total backlog figure represents an increase of more than 1,000 aircraft on the previous year.

At the end of 2012, Malaysian carrier AirAsia topped the backlog by operator listing with 339 A320 family aircraft, 264 of which are for the Neo variant. AirAsia was also the fleet manager leader with 389 aircraft on order. Lion Air followed the listing by operator with 329 737s on order, including 150 Max aircraft. Southwest Airlines and United Airlines show an order backlog of 321 and 299 aircraft respectively which they both own and manage.

In the leasing market, GECAS, ILFC, Air Lease and Aviation Capital Group showed backlog figures of 286, 225, 244 and 185, respectively.

Regional overview for commercial aircraft in 2011

: charting the airline cycle

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