Single-aisle aircraft boost global fleet recovery in post-Covid era

Looking at many airlines today, it is evident that over 80% of their installed fleet is made up of single aisle aircraft, ranging from small to medium sized aircraft. Of our position, the long-term outlook is that the aviation market is likely to shift towards narrow-body aircraft, with the share of single-aisle aircraft in the global commercial aviation market increasing to more than 56% over the next five years.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen a few of these airlines switch to larger narrowbodies, although the migration seems a bit slower than expected due to the large backlog of undelivered aircraft. Nonetheless, the aviation industry has noted a gradual transition to large single-aisle aircraft, with current projections indicating that these aircraft variants have increased by more than 50% compared to pre-pandemic figures.

It’s pretty obvious that backlog issues are a major concern for many airlines when it comes to switching to single-aisle aircraft. Based on available figures, this backlog means that the worldwide fleet of various aircraft variants belonging to the wide-body narrow-body category will remain below 40%, but the trend may change favorably in the coming years. However, industry experts still believe that this figure will exceed the 35% mark in the next five years if we follow current market trends.

Referring to a statement from Boeing management, “the core of the market is around 180-200 seats”. In theory, this statement posits that Boeing’s large single-aisle aircraft could become the new market shapers, given the company’s current positioning with large single-aisle aircraft. Remarkably, the number of Max 9 and 10 configurations and high-density Max 8 variants have begun to dominate the installed fleet for many airlines, representing a new market trend towards single-aisle aircraft.

In all likelihood, the aviation market will see an increased number of A321 Neo variants, with high-density A320 Neo entering the narrowbody market, pushing the tide further in the global aviation industry post -Covid. However, Airbus’ Market share in the single-aisle market appears to be growing faster than its US rival, Boeing, which presumably has more aircraft variants in the narrow-body category.

The latest figures provided for the two major manufacturers at the end of June indicate that Airbus had delivered more than 10,600 of the 17,000 orders placed by various airlines for the A320 and A220 variants. The A320 has become one of the best-selling and most popular single-aisle aircraft, with its market share surpassing that of Boeing’s 737 Max models.

Market experts have cited the quality of engineering and the recent disasters and grounding of single-aisle Max 737 variants as reasons why Boeing’s share of the narrow-body market is lagging behind Airbus. Recent fleet data indicates that Airbus is grappling with a huge order book of single-aisle A320 Family aircraft, with the current market share standing at 59%. These figures indicate that the old order is changing rapidly, with the single-aisle market becoming increasingly attractive to many airlines.

Additionally, the A320 series’ increased preference for short-haul destinations has increased their appeal in the aviation market, providing opportunities for airlines to maintain intensive loyalty programs during the post-Covid recovery period. Therefore, these planes seem more suitable for airlines looking to achieve fast bounce rates, unlike Boeing’s single-aisle planes that operate primarily in the long-haul segment.

Unlike wide-body aircraft, the single-aisle segment includes aircraft that allow airlines to get the best saving per seat and ultimately offering greater flexibility to passengers. This explains the increased attractiveness of large single-aisle aircraft in the face of the current difficulties that characterize the global aviation market.

As the order books currently facing aircraft manufacturers show, the value of single-aisle variants in driving growth and helping airlines meet their capacity demands during the post-Covid recovery period is largely indispensable. Given these realities, manufacturers should examine the possibilities of creating middle of the market aircraft models and those that offer a circular composite fuselage to complement existing single-aisle models.

About Gediminas Ziemelis:

Throughout a business development career spanning over 24 years, Gediminas Ziemelis has established more than 50 start-ups and investments in various sectors such as IT, media, luxury furniture, pharmaceutical, clinics, agriculture and other industrial sectors. At present, these companies are either owned by PE ‘Vertas Management’ or were previously sold and are now part of other prominent organizations.

Gediminas Ziemelis is the Founder and Chairman of Avia Solutions Group – a leading global aerospace services group with nearly 100 offices and production stations providing aerospace services and solutions worldwide.

Throughout his career, G. Ziemelis has received numerous prestigious awards and industry accolades. In 2016, G. Ziemelis received a prestigious European Business Award in recognition of his visionary skills in business management and development. In the same year, under his leadership, Avia Solutions Group was named National Public Champion in the Entrepreneurship category, gaining a place in the top 110 of European companies. Twice – in 2012 and again in 2014 – Ziemelis has been recognized as one of the 40 most talented young leaders in the global aerospace industry by the leading UNITED STATES aerospace magazine ‘Aviation Week’.

During his career, Gediminas Ziemelis took part in many impressive business ventures. Between 2014 and 2017, he personally supported and consulted Chinese banks (including ICBCL, CMBL and Skyco Leasing) regarding the financing of aircraft sale-leaseback transactions with a total value of more than 4 billion US dollars.

Between 2006 and 2019, the Chairman of Avia Solutions Group successfully executed the IPOs of 4 companies at OMX and WSE, oversaw numerous public bond issues, as well as raising public capital worth over US$400 million.

His total net worth is US$1.38 billionaccording to local business media.

More information: www.gediminasziemelis.com

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SOURCE Avia Solutions Group

About Gertrude H. Kerr

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