Major upcoming carrier re-fleetings

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By Vincent Valery


July 26, 2021, © Leeham News: As passenger traffic in the USA recovers, carriers’ operating cash flow turned consistently positive. With increased confidence in a sustainable passenger recovery, some airlines started ordering or purchasing planes again.

United Airlines 787-10

LNA outlined in a previous article that the pace of passenger traffic recovery differs significantly by region and country. Several domestic markets, notably China and the USA, are back to levels approaching those seen in 2019. Other markets, notably intercontinental or intra-Asia travel, remains depressed.

The carriers that placed large orders undoubtedly did so to capitalize on favorable pricing from OEMs and cheap financing. However, behind the headline-grabbing order figures lie that their fleets are aging fast and had under-ordered in previous years.

LNA singles out in this article the carriers that will have to place sizable orders to rejuvenate their fleets in the next five years, considering regional factors.

  • The 40,000 feet view of re-fleeting needs;
  • US carriers lead in old metal needing replacement;
  • Potential acceleration of replacement plans in Europe;
  • Lower near-term replacement needs in Asia-Pacific.

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