Our data source recently updated their information through the year-end 2017. We have been mining this data to look for trends in airline fleets across the globe to see which items jump out. The commercial aviation is subject to several shocks that impact operations. Most of these shocks are exogenous and unpredictable. Nobody can plan for them, even though rational managers know these shocks will come. Consequently, we note that effective managers are risk-averse and make decisions that can handle these shocks. But even as these are risk-averse managers, there also those who know these risks and are willing to take a gamble. This is especially the case with new airlines, who for some reason think they are going to be “different”.
Let’s start with the in-service fleet. As we can see the growth has been constant, if at varying rates over the period. This chart supports the other evidence we have seen showing the industry has been in the midst of a “super-cycle”. Despite all the attention widebodies get, the industry is built by far on single-aisles. It is also worth noting that much of the widebody growth has been in the Middle East where three airlines have shown voracious appetites for big planes.