Clipped Wings: Suppliers’ Futures Hang in the Balance of the Parked Fleet
The impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry is unprecedented, yet prior downturns can still provide useful perspective for the months ahead.
Should airlines’ prior crisis management tactics be applied in the current environment, up to 7,000 of the nearly 17,000 grounded aircraft may not return to passenger service.
While the grounded fleet will likely ebb and flow over the coming months, how airlines ultimately decide to unravel all the cobwebs of planes on runways and taxiways around the globe will influence the size and shape of the industry for years to come.
Some of the compelling data we highlight below is:
- Over 60% of the commercial aircraft fleet is parked due to COVID-19. This far exceeds the share of the fleet that was grounded during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, September 11 / SARS, and the Gulf War recession
- Up to 40% of the aircraft that were parked during prior crises did not return to passenger service. This includes retirements and those converted to freighter aircraft
- 40% of the oldest aircraft in the current COVID-19 parked fleet includes all aircraft that are 15 years of age or older
- Over 25% of the Airbus A320ceo Family is over the age of 15 and at risk of retirement
- Over 80% of the Boeing B757 and B767 aircraft families are in storage, and the vast majority are over 15 years old
- Delta Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Air Canada all are some of the largest carriers with high-risk retirement fleets