2020 Widebody Deliveries Down More Than 50% Compared To 2019
International air travel disappeared practically overnight because of COVID-19. As a result, many airlines globally delayed or cancelled their large aircraft orders.
Aviation Week data shows that a total of 814 aircraft were delivered in 2020 compared to 1,492 in 2019, a reduction of 45%.
There is consensus that the widebody segment will take many years to return to where it was. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the widebody market had been slow for years partly because of over-ordering during the boom in the early 2010s. Airlines have also begun to realize that some of the models on offer are simply too big—such as the 777X and the A350-1000, not to mention the 747-8 and the A380.
As the industry flies out of the crisis, airlines could opt to use more long-haul narrowbodies where feasible to cut back on investment and recurring costs, further dampening demand for widebodies. They would also have access to a large pool of cheap used aircraft that they might prefer over new orders.