Dissecting The Widebody Engine Market

The Rolls-Royce Trent 700 will account for 11% of the in-service widebody fleet next year.
Credit: EmadIV (Wikimedia Commons)

Of all engine classes, the widebody market faces the most disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. Its downturn is expected to last longer than for short- and medium-haul flying and this, combined with huge numbers of aircraft phased out or put into long-term storage has impacted widebody engine values more than any other type.

Of the 12,600 or so widebody engines that Aviation Week expects to be in service in 2021, 20% will be General Electric CF6-80s, 18% will be GE90s, 16% will be GEnx models, 11% will be Rolls-Royce Trent 700s, and rest will be mainly other Trent models and the PW4000. Next year, it is also forecast that about 750 widebody engines will return from storage and almost 370 will be retired.

In 2025, the forecast is for the GEnx to have 19% of the widebody engine market, the GE90 to have 18%, the CF6-80 to have 17%, the Trent XWB to have 12% and the Trent 700 to have 11%. By 2030, the market leader will remain the GEnx, followed by the Trent XWB.

However, in-service numbers of all engine types are much lower than expected before the pandemic, and imply a dramatic impact on the widebody MRO market.

Last year Aviation Week predicted that total annual MRO spend for widebody engines would rise from $17 billion in 2020 to $25 billion in 2029. It now expects the trajectory to go from just $13.9 billion in 2021 to $21.3 billion by 2030.

This decade Aviation Week expects widebody engine maintenance spend to peak in 2026 at $21.9 billion. At that point the GE90 will still dominate the aftermarket, accounting for $6.7 billion of maintenance demand, followed by $3.4 billion for the Trent 700, $2.7 billion for the GEnx and $1.8 billion each for the Trent XWB and CF6-80.

To find out more about projected delivery and aftermarket demand for all classes of engine, see the forthcoming Engine Yearbook 2021.