Younger Aircraft Retirements: Data And Implications

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The average and median age of commercial jets that are being retired is falling to the lowest level in two decades, a fleet analysis by Aviation Week Intelligence Network shows (AWIN-subscriber story only). 

For each year from 1997 through 2008, the average and median age for the aircraft being retired ranged from about 28-30 years. That number dropped significantly in 2009 and has never rebounded. Through mid-June of 2012 the average age is 24.8 years and the median age is 23.8. If those numbers hold, they will be the lowest since 1991. Bombardier’s 50-seat CRJ100/200 regional jets have been big contributors to the decline, but so too have been Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 family aircraft. Boeing 747-400 aircraft could soon become a bigger contributor to this decline, too.

The trend has consequences and implications for aircraft valuations and financing, spare parts suppliers, lessors and more, as explained in more detail here.


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