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Worldwide aircraft fleet age by region 2019-2029

Average age of the global operating aircraft fleet from 2019 to 2029, by region or country (in years)

Worldwide aircraft fleet age by region 2019-2029 China’s aircraft fleet had an average age of 6.4 years in 2019, whereas the North American fleet had an average age of 14.1 years. By 2029 this gap is expected to narrow though, with the average fleet ages predicted to be 9.0 years and 12.1 years respectively.
Reasons for updating

The main reason for replacing aircraft is not because planes become less safe as they age, but because newer planes are cheaper to operate. For example, newer aircraft are generally more fuel efficient – an important factor given the volatility in the price of aircraft fuel and its current trend upwards. On average, aircraft are retired after around 25 years.

Fleet age trends

The general pattern is that more established markets and carriers have older fleets. For example, in the North American market, the traditional full-cost carriers have average fleet ages well above 10 years, whereas the average fleet age of the newer low-cost carriers are mostly below 10 years. However, established markets with a higher number of older aircraft provide more opportunity for aircraft to be replaced sooner. This explains the above forecast that the average fleet age in established markets will reduce by 2029, whereas markets with newer fleets will increase in average age.
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Average age of the global operating aircraft fleet from 2019 to 2029, by region or country (in years)

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China’s aircraft fleet had an average age of 6.4 years in 2019, whereas the North American fleet had an average age of 14.1 years. By 2029 this gap is expected to narrow though, with the average fleet ages predicted to be 9.0 years and 12.1 years respectively.
Reasons for updating

The main reason for replacing aircraft is not because planes become less safe as they age, but because newer planes are cheaper to operate. For example, newer aircraft are generally more fuel efficient – an important factor given the volatility in the price of aircraft fuel and its current trend upwards. On average, aircraft are retired after around 25 years.

Fleet age trends

The general pattern is that more established markets and carriers have older fleets. For example, in the North American market, the traditional full-cost carriers have average fleet ages well above 10 years, whereas the average fleet age of the newer low-cost carriers are mostly below 10 years. However, established markets with a higher number of older aircraft provide more opportunity for aircraft to be replaced sooner. This explains the above forecast that the average fleet age in established markets will reduce by 2029, whereas markets with newer fleets will increase in average age.
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