New aircraft cancellations reach worrying high

Last year 303 airliners were cancelled, this year that’s shot up to 441, worth around US$75 billion.

Analysts aren’t worried by the short term implications because it just means those airlines with orders get aircraft sooner – if they want them earlier which is becoming an issue with some airlines too.

However this years cancellations are significant in respect of several key aircraft.

The chart listing is:

  1. Boeing 737 MAX 229 cancellations

2. A220 45 and A320 45

3. A350 44

4. 787 35

5. A380 31

6. A319 8

7. A321 1

By airline the largest group of cancellations was JetAirways following its collapse, at 135 and then Etihad with 42.

Overall the retirement percentage of the operating global fleet is running at a pretty average 2.5%, but the worrying figure is the number of serviceable aircraft being stored.

Until this year the percentage of parked up aircraft had been dropping since 2001, but this year it shot up, with 7.6% of the global fleet parked. 993 of those were in-production types with 675 out of production aircraft – and that doesn’t include 737MAX groundings.

There are also numbers that need adjusting around the 777-9 and the Emirates order book, but no contracts have yet been signed to firm the orders – MOU’s are simply memoranda, not even a letter of intent.

There is a shortage of short haul aircraft – for that you can blame MAX – but there’s a noticeable decline in the desire for more wide bodies, especially large ones. Smaller mid sized aircraft are clearly more in demand. But is there enough demand for a 797-X and what price will be paid by Boeing in the single aisle market if that goes ahead?