May brings another dose of optimism and another peak in worldwide capacity numbers. The numbers have been growing since the beginning of February, and the global fleet size currently counts 67.4 million scheduled seats per week.

After reaching a peak in mid-April, and with varying numbers in the first part of the month, the last week of May has brought with it another dose of optimism for Asia, which currently counts 30.9 million scheduled seats per week.

Despite minor fluctuations, North America has been on the recovery path since the beginning of February, with weekly seating capacity now numbering 19.3 million. At the end of May, North America will once more see demand touch numbers it last registered when the pandemic struck in late March/early April last year.

May in Europe has seen a strong resurgence in demand, especially in the month’s final week. Currently, European capacity counts 8 million weekly scheduled seats, an increase of 33% compared to the last week of April.

May’s rising numbers are also cause for celebration in South America, where capacity – which currently counts 2.5 million scheduled seats – is again climbing.

Sadly, the number of scheduled seats in the African market has continued to stagnate, albeit with a slight increase during the last week of May. The continent’s current capacity counts 1.7 million scheduled seats.

Since the beginning of February, Oceania has been trending upwards, with capacity numbers showing strong sustained growth. The end of May has seen the highest number of scheduled seats since the pandemic’s outbreak and currently counts 1.8 million seats/week.

As of March 2021, Volaris from Mexico has the highest load factor of 86.88%, making it the leader on the Top 25 Airlines list. The airline with the lowest load factor continues to be Scoot from Singapore, with 11.83%.

From February 2021 until today, we have seen a positive trend with more and more aircraft coming out of temporary storage. At the moment, the total global fleet counts 27,609 aircraft, out of which 20,027 are active and 7,582 grounded. If we compare these numbers to April 2021, we can see the number of active aircraft has increased slightly, while the number of grounded aircraft has decreased but marginally.

Asia and North America continue to have the highest number of active aircraft for the fifth month in a row. Asia counts 7,361 active aircraft, a 2.6% decrease compared to April 2021. North America counts 6,360 active aircraft followed by Europe with 4,416 while Africa counts 778, South America 736, and Oceania 646. Europe has seen the highest jump where the number of active aircraft has increased by 8%, compared to last month’s figures.

Continentactivegroundedtotal
Africa7785061284
Asia736125879948
Europe414623866532
North America636015687928
Oceania646160806
South America7363751111
Grand Total20027758227609

China takes the lead again when it comes to the TOP 10 countries with the highest percentage of active aircraft. With a total fleet of 3,803 aircraft, 92.87% are active, meaning China currently has 3,832 aircraft flying. The list also includes Japan, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Netherlands, the United States of America, Poland, Taiwan (Province of China), Mexico and Australia.

Countryactivegroundedtotal% active
China3532271380392,87%
Japan5636262590,08%
Ethiopia961310988,07%
New Zealand1001811884,75%
Netherlands (the)1863422084,55%
United States of America (the)54951029652484,23%
Poland1292515483,77%
Taiwan (Province of China)1703320383,74%
Mexico2635732082,19%
Australia45810155981,93%

Indonesia leads the TOP 10 countries with the highest percentage of grounded fleets by airline, with 70.03% of their fleet grounded. The list is followed by Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Iran, Sweden, and Canada.

Countryactivegroundedtotal% grounded
Indonesia19044463470,03%
Hong Kong7316123468,80%
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)24951075967,19%
Nigeria417011163,06%
Thailand10317227562,55%
Malaysia12113725853,10%
Philippines (the)10511622152,49%
Iran (Islamic Republic of)12012724751,42%
Sweden928717948,60%
Canada41137778847,84%

We have also analysed lessors with more than 50 aircraft in their fleets to determine the top 25 with the highest percentage of active aircraft in their portfolios. Here is the list:

We have used ch-aviation fleets advanced and fleets ownership data for this analysis. To get full and detailed insights on active and inactive aircraft, visit the following LINK.

At ch-aviation, we continually track new aircraft deliveries from the largest aircraft manufacturers: Airbus, ATR, Boeing, Bombardier, COMAC, De Havilland, Embraer, and Irkut.

Worldwide aircraft deliveries have been strongly increasing in March, almost reaching pre-covid levels. After 57 aircraft delivered in January and 60 aircraft in February, 111 aircraft were delivered in March. Compared to March 2020, that’s a significant increase of 88%.

Compared to 2020 numbers, Boeing deliveries significantly increased in the first three months of 2021. In March, Boeing delivered 30 aircraft in total, which is an increase of 76% compared to March 2020.

Out of 30 aircraft, eight were delivered to Southwest Airlines, four to Boeing Defense, Space & Security, three to TUI Airways, followed by two for Copa Airlines, FedEx Express, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Neos and United Airlines. One aircraft was delivered to Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Blue Air (Romania), Cayman Airways and UPS Airlines.

In the same period, Airbus has delivered 32 aircraft in February 2021, with significant growth in March 2021, delivering 72 aircraft in total. Compared to March 2020 deliveries, that is an increase of 95%.

Out of 72 aircraft, six were delivered to IndiGo Airlines, four to Delta Air Lines, three to China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Frontier Airlines, while two aircraft were delivered to each of the following airlines: Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Air China, American Airlines, flynas, JetSMART, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.  One aircraft was delivered to Air Astana, Air Busan, Air France, Bamboo Airways, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific Air, Iberia Express, Loong Air, Luftwaffe, Pegasus Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Scoot and Shenzhen Airlines.

Here is an overview of the aircraft deliveries of the other manufacturers we track:

We have analysed airports in Europe, Asia, North & South America, Africa, and Oceania by most aircraft grounded at the beginning of April. Here is an overview of the Top 25 with the most aircraft in temporary storage, worldwide and by each continent.

In April, worldwide capacity numbers have reached a new peak. Numbers have been steadily rising for the third month in a row now, and the global size of the industry currently counts 63.4 million seats per week.

Asia continues to have an upward trend in the number of weekly scheduled seats and is on a good path to reach pre-Covid numbers soon again. At the moment, Asia counts 32.1 million seats scheduled per week.

North America’s capacity has been steadily growing since the beginning of this year. North America currently counts a total of 17.6 million scheduled seats per week which is the highest since the outbreak of the pandemic. However,  thatsstill far away from reaching pre-Covid March 2020 numbers.

Europe experienced a significant increase in capacity during the first week of April due to the increased demand over the holiday period. Since then, the number of scheduled seats per week has slightly decreased but is still higher than in previous months and currently counts 7.8 million seats scheduled.

April 2021 brought a significant drop in the seats scheduled for South America, stagnating in the first two weeks of April. The current number of scheduled seats is 2.3 million. 

The number of scheduled seats on the African market continues to slowly and steadily grow each week. In April, the current capacity counts 1.7 million seats scheduled.

March and April 2021 show Oceania’s continued growth in capacity. Mid-April has reached the highest number of seat schedules since the pandemic’s outbreak and currently counts 1.7 million seats.

As of February 2021, GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes from Brazil still has the highest load factor of 80.80%, making it the leader on the Top 25 Airlines list. The airline with the lowest load factor continues to be Scoot from Singapore, with 6.04%.

At ch-aviation, we continually track new aircraft deliveries from the largest aircraft manufacturers: Airbus, ATR, Boeing, Bombardier, COMAC, De Havilland, Embraer, and Irkut.

In January 2021, 57 new aircraft were delivered to Airlines worldwide. In February 2021, there was a slight increase, and 60 came out of the production lines. If we compare this number to 2020, when 83 new aircraft were delivered in the same timeframe, that results in a total decrease of almost 30%.

In January, thanks to the ungrounding of the Boeing 737MAX in some parts of the world, Boeing delivered 29 aircraft in total, significantly more than in 2020 at the same time. In February, output slightly decreased to 22 but still more than in 2020. Out of the 22 aircraft, six were delivered to Southwest Airlines, three to United Airlines, followed by two for Boeing, Defence Space & Security, Copa Airlines, and Sunwing Airlines. One aircraft each was delivered to Aeroflot, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, TUI Airways, UPS Airlines, and WestJet. One aircraft was also delivered to a private entity.

And there is reason for optimism that this trend continues given that during January 2021, Boeing deliveries increased by more than 100% compared to the same month in 2020, thanks to the 737MAX ungrounding.

Turning to Europe, Airbus delivered 21* aircraft during January 2021, while in February, it handed over 32* aircraft. Out of the 32*, three were delivered to each of China Eastern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Indigo Airlines, and JetBlue Airways, while two were delivered to each of Air China, ANA – All Nippon Airways, Pegasus Airlines, and Spring Airlines. One aircraft was delivered to each of Air Canada, Air Côte d’Ivoire, Asiana Airlines, Gulf Air, Jazeera Airways, Shenzhen Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, SKY Airline (Chile), Vietnam Airlines, Vistara, and Volaris.

Compared to the same period in 2020, the number of aircraft delivered by Airbus has significantly dropped; January 2021 shows a decrease of almost 45%, while February 2021 shows an output reduction of 42%.

*delivered on the contract, according to the Airbus order book.

Here is an overview of the aircraft deliveries of more leading manufacturers we track monthly:

We have analysed airports in Europe, Asia, North & South America, Africa, and Oceania by most aircraft grounded at the beginning of March. Here is an overview of the Top 25 with the most aircraft in temporary storage, worldwide and by each continent.

The first half of March has shown stagnating numbers in total global fleet size. The current total global fleet size counts 27,522 aircraft, out of which 19,867 are active and 7,655 grounded.

Continentactivegroundedtotal
Africa8474371284
Asia771622139929
Europe375627796535
North America612017447864
Oceania635164799
South America7933181111
Grand Total19867765527522

When it comes to the number of active fleets worldwide, Asia and North America continue to lead the list. Asia is operating 7716 active aircraft, whereas North America 6120. Europe follows with 3756, while Africa counts 847, South America 793 and Oceania 635 active aircraft.

Taiwan leads the TOP 10 countries with the highest percentage of active fleets, with 202 aircraft in their fleet, out of which 187 (92.57%) are active. The list also includes China, Ethiopia, Viet Nam, Japan, New Zealand, India, Netherlands (the), Chile and Qatar.

Countryactivegroundedtotal% active
Taiwan (Province of China)1871520292.57%
China3496285378192.46%
Ethiopia106911592.17%
Viet Nam2022122390.58%
Japan5688465287.12%
New Zealand1001811884.75%
India60011971983.45%
Netherlands (the)1793721682.87%
Chile871810582.86%
Qatar1773721482.71%

Among the TOP 10 countries with the highest percentage of grounded fleets by an airline, the United Kingdom remains at the top of the list with more than 70.12% of its fleet grounded. They are followed by Hong Kong, Nigeria, Germany, Malaysia, Ireland, Portugal, Singapore, Austria and Canada, which all have more than 50.00% of their fleet grounded.

Countryactivegroundedtotal% grounded
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)22853576370.12%
Hong Kong7415222667.26%
Nigeria406210260.78%
Germany23428051454.47%
Malaysia11913925853.88%
Ireland17620337953.56%
Portugal616913053.08%
Singapore10211121352.11%
Austria11111822951.53%
Canada40240480650.12%

An updated analysis on the top 25 lessors (counting more than 50 aircraft in their fleet) with the most active aircraft in their portfolio is also available. New on the list this month are Merx Aviation Finance, Avolon, DAE Capital and VEB-Leasing.

We use ch-aviation fleets advanced and fleets ownership data for this analysis. To get the full and detailed insights on active and inactive aircraft, visit the following LINK.

March 2021 has been the third highest peak we have measured since the pandemic’s outbreak back in April last year. Worldwide scheduled seats are once more on the rise after a significant drop witnessed in the first week of February 2021 and currently count 60.9 million.

In Asia, the first two weeks of March saw an upward trend, after a significant drop at the beginning of February. At the moment, Asia counts 31.1 million seats scheduled, which closely resembles the last Asian market peak at the beginning of January with 31.2 million seats.

North America has been experiencing unstable growth for the past five months. However, since mid-February, it is evident that the number of seats scheduled is rising. The total number of seats currently scheduled in North America is 17.4 million, the highest since the outbreak of the pandemic.

After a short recovery during December, due to increased demand because of the holiday season, January and February brought a significant fall in the number of scheduled seats per week in Europe. March, however, brings a slight increase, counting at the moment 6.4 million seats.

South America’s capacity was growing until mid-January, when it started to decrease, hitting a low point in February. However, the market is recovering, and the numbers are slowly increasing again, with the current capacity per week in South America being 2.7 million seats.

During March, the African market has shown a slight increase in capacity, but still, it stagnates for the last two months, counting at the moment 1.6 million scheduled seats per week.

Oceania is on another road to recovery. After a significant drop in capacity during the first week of February, the number of seats scheduled has been steadily increasing over the last four weeks. At present, the number of seats scheduled is 1.5 million, which is more than during the previous peak in December 2020, when it was 1.4 million.

As of January, 2021 GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes from Brazil has the highest load factor of 83.19%, making it the leader on the Top 25 Airlines list. The airline with the lowest load factor continues to be Scoot from Singapore, with 7.74%.

At the beginning of February, capacity numbers keep dropping, and at the moment, the Industry’s global size counts 51.5 million seats per week.  

After an unstable growth trend until the end of January, Asian capacity shows a significant drop at the beginning of February, counting 25.8 million seats.

After a nominal growth during December and the beginning of January, North America’s capacity numbers are decreasing until now, with a total of 13.9 million scheduled seats per week.

After a short recovery in December, due to increased demand during the holiday season, European capacity numbers are significantly decreasing from one week to another. At the beginning of February, the current capacity counts 5.9 million offered seats per week.

South America was on a stable road to recovery from May until the beginning of January. However, February brought decreasing capacity numbers, now reaching 3 million seats scheduled per week.  

After a stable growing trend from August until the end of 2020, January and February brought another drop in numbers for the African market, which is now counting a total of 1.6 million seats scheduled per week.

We have noticed a significant fall in the capacity numbers in Oceania as well. Even though January was optimistic, the beginning of February now counts only 1.1 million offered seats per week.

With a load factor of 90.60%, Royal Flight from Russia leads the Top 25 Airlines list with the highest load factors in December 2020. The lowest load factor was tracked by Scoot from Singapore, with 9.26% only.