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May 30, 2024
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Is the industry headed for a recession?  We have frequently mentioned our view that it appears to us that an order bubble has formed.  Does fleet data provide a different perspective on the market?If we only look at the passenger market, which is the biggest and attracts the most attention we see the following fleet breakdown by number of seats.  The source data for the chart are active aircraft from the Jet Information Services database by year, and includes all aircraft types, from 19 seat turboprops to Russian-built jetliners.

It is notable that the market is consistently growing year after year.   Between 2000 and 1Q16, the fleet grew over 70%, reflecting the average 5% growth in traffic.  It is the kind of performance that reflects the rosy market forecasts from Airbus and Boeing.  Because that time period includes SARS, the oil price spike and drop, several wars and 9/11 and numerous other terrorist attacks, one could assume the commercial aviation business has become somewhat immune to these external challenges.

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Addison Schonland
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.