Size of aircraft fleets by region worldwide: projection 2018-2038

The world's aircraft fleet is expected to increase from 25,830 to 50,660 aircraft between 2018 and 2038. While the more established markets of Europe and North America are predicted to increase by around 77 and 45 percent respectively, the Asia Pacific fleet is expected to increase by about 146 percent to 19,420 aircraft in 2038.

Commercial aviation

The above figures relate only to commercial aviation, meaning aircraft for hire operated by companies to transport passengers and/or cargo. This figure does not include military or private aircraft. When business jets are included the forecasted growth trend looks slightly different, with the number of aircraft deliveries in North America and Europe expected to be higher than in the Asia Pacific region. Currently, North America has by far the largest fleet of business aircraft.

Airline market growth

All regions are predicted to see an increase in the size of their aircraft fleet over the next 20 years. The forecasted increase in aircraft fleet results from the expectation that the next two decades will see ongoing, consistent growth in both air passengers and air cargo. These growth forecasts may change though if significant regulatory change is introduced to address environmental concerns. Depending on political conditions there is a chance this may occur; for example, almost half of U.K. consumers agree that tickets prices should be increased to reflect the environmental damage caused by flying.

Size of aircraft fleets by region worldwide in 2018 and 2038

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Release date

June 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Forecast.

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