Single-aisle aircraft will continue their dominance of the global airline fleet, Air Lease's executive chairman of the board Steven Udvar-Hazy expects.
In a keynote speech at the Aviation Club lunch on 13 September, Udvar-Hazy said that in the past 20 years, the percentage of single-aisle aircraft has grown from 70% to about 75% of the global fleet, which he defined as the 22,000 jets over 100 seats.
“The single-aisle growth has outpaced widebody growth," he says.
"There are about 5,600 widebodies in service versus 17,000 single-aisle jets and that trend will continue as we have more low-cost operators not just in Europe, USA and Asia, but on a global scale.”
Hazy points out that stored and grounded aircraft are at their lowest levels in more than a decade. “Only 6% of the aircraft fleet is currently on the ground awaiting customers,” he says.
At 30 June, Air Lease’s fleet totalled 271 aircraft, of which 49 were managed for other parties. The lessor has an order book of 391 aircraft, including 146 A320-family aircraft, 158 Boeing 737 Max aircraft, 29 A330-900neos, 43 787s and 15 A350-900/1000s.
Hazy says airlines are now more focused on replacement of their ageing fleets: “Our core business is focused on replacement rather than growth”.
“About 85% of our leases are to replace less economic aircraft that can no longer demonstrate long-term profits at the airlines,” he says.
“There are 18,000 aircraft to be replaced over the next 20 years. That is our focus,” he adds.