How has the global airliner fleet changed in the last three years?

With the onset of COVID-19 across worldwide markets during the first half of last year, we analyse the trends of the global fleet before the pandemic (2019), its spread worldwide (2020) and what we hope is the road to recovery (2021)

Overall, between the three years and despite the major fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, global fleet numbers remained stable from 26,176 in 2019, falling slightly in 2020 at 26,096, before rebounding to 26,114, although not to above pre-COVID-19 levels. While operators have phased out older, less-efficient aircraft to reduce the financial burden, many of these have, in turn, been replaced by newer types.

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras became the first operator of the A330neo in the region and now fields five examples

First, in the single-aisle sector, the Airbus A220 recorded an 185% increase in 2021 compared to 2019, equating to 148 more aircraft. Newer users of the airframe vary from Kyrgyzstan’s Air Manas and New York-based JetBlue Airways to now established operators of the type, such as Delta Air Lines.

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