For medium and long-hauls, the twin engine passenger aircraft are the backbone of the fleet. This first chart demonstrates how twin engine aircraft have become the dominant type. In 2000, twins were about 50% of the fleet. By 1Q16 this had risen to about 70% of the widebody fleet.
Among the Boeing fleet, the breakdown is as follows. The 767 fleet is rapidly shrinking in relative numbers. The actual number is declining less rapidly – there were 762 in service in 2000 and as of 1Q16 there were 683. The relative decline comes from the 777 fleet growth. In 2000 there were 316 in service and by 1Q16 this had grown to 1,237. Finally we see the 787 has come on strong from only 3 in service in 2012 to 393 by 1Q16.
Among the Airbus fleet we see a simpler fleet breakdown. The A300 and A310 quickly dropped away once the A330 became available. The A330 models dominate the Airbus fleet, rising from 24% in 2000 to 89% in 1Q16. The few A350s in service highlight the challenges Airbus is having getting these aircraft into service due to supply chain difficulties.
Finally, to demonstrate how much the 777 and A330 dominate the market we offer this last chart. Between these two aircraft they account for 66% of the twin engine twin aisle fleet. It would be fair to say that in these two aircraft Airbus and Boeing gave the market exactly what it wanted.
Although they have different characteristics, each provides a set of features that meet airline needs. Which is why a number of airlines use both types. These two aircraft clearly make up the heart of the overall twin aisle market.
Airbus and Boeing similarly dominate the upper part of the single aisle market with their A320s and 737s. In the space between the single aisles and twin aisles, the so called “middle of the market”, we can expect these two OEMs to fight equally hard – even if Airbus currently has an advantage.