How old are the fleets of the largest airlines?

The ten leading airlines in the world, when measured by the size of their rosters, operate a combined total of nearly 7,000 aircraft, but what is the average age of each airline’s fleet? 

The biggest carriers in the world have some of the most complex and diverse fleet structures, this ends up making the process of renewal difficult, compared with smaller operations.

AAB
(Photo: Aviation Image Network/Bailey)

This usually results in aircraft staying longer, which drives the average fleet age up slightly compared with new entries to the market which are typically buying brand-new jets.  

Here are the ten largest airlines in the world measured by their fleet size and their respective average roster age. 

1. American Airlines – 11.1 years 

Type Number Average Age
Airbus A319 133 16.6
Airbus A320 48 19.6
Airbus A321 240 7.6
Airbus A330 15 8.9
Boeing 737 328 10.3
Boeing 777 67 16
Boeing 787 45 3.7
Total 876 11.1

2. Delta Air Lines – 14.6 years 

Type Number Average Age
Airbus A220 31 1.4
Airbus A319 57 18.7
Airbus A320 62 25.2
Airbus A321 104 2.4
Airbus A330 49 11.1
Airbus A350 XWB 15 2.4
Boeing 717 91 19.1
Boeing 737 208 9.7
Boeing 757 127 23.2
Boeing 767 75 23
Boeing 777 15 14.6
Total 834 14.6

3. United Airlines – 16 years 

Type Number Average Age
Airbus A319 86 18.7
Airbus A320 96 22.2
Boeing 737 352 13.3
Boeing 757 61 21.8
Boeing 767 54 23.1
Boeing 777 96 17.2
Boeing 787 60 3.8
Total 805 16

4. Southwest Airlines – 12.5 years 

Type Number Average Age
Boeing 737 734 12.5
Total 734 12.5

5. China Southern Airlines – 7.5 years 

Type Number Average Age
Airbus A319 9 13.8
Airbus A320 140 7.5
Airbus A321 130 7.8
Airbus A330 44 7.4
Airbus A350 XWB 6 1.1
Airbus A380 5 9
Boeing 737 213 7.7
Boeing 747 2 18.3
Boeing 777 29 5.6
Boeing 787 25 4
COMAC ARJ21 1 0.4
ERJ 190 5 7.9
Total 609 7.5

6. China Eastern Airlines – 7.2 years 

Type Number Average Age
Airbus A319 35 7.6
Airbus A320 221 8.3
Airbus A321 77 7.3
Airbus A330 53 6.6
Airbus A350 XWB 7 1.6
Boeing 737 152 6.4
Boeing 777 20 4.7
Boeing 787 3 1.8
Total 568 7.2

7. SkyWest - 11.8 years 

Type Number Average Age
Bombardier CRJ-100 196 18.2
Bombardier CRJ-700 107 14.9
Bombardier CRJ-900 43 10.2
Embraer ERJ-170 189 3.8
Total 535 11.8

8. Ryanair Group – 9 years 

Type Number Average Age
Airbus A320 28 13.5
Boeing 737 439 8.7
Total 467 9

9. Air China – 8 years 

Type Number Average Age
Airbus A319 33 14.4
Airbus A320 72 5.2
Airbus A321 70 7.7
Airbus A330 58 9.2
Airbus A350 XWB 10 2
Boeing 737 135 8.5
Boeing 747 10 11.4
Boeing 777 28 6.6
Boeing 787 14 3.7
Total 431 8

10. Lufthansa - 11.3 years

Type Number Average Age
Airbus A319 23 17.5
Airbus A320 88 6.1
Airbus A321 68 14.7
Airbus A330 15 12.7
Airbus A340 17 21
Airbus A350 XWB 16 2.6
Airbus A380 7 9
Boeing 747 32 13
Total 266 11.3