Aircraft leasing accounts for half of world's commercial aircraft fleet. Lessors shun widebodies

Premium Analysis

According to data from the CAPA Fleet Database, half of the commercial aircraft in service with the world's airlines are leased. The penetration of leased aircraft is higher in Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific and lower in North America and Africa. The leased aircraft share grew strongly in the 1980s and 1990s, but has broadly plateaued in the past decade.

Lessors' share of aircraft orders has consistently been much lower than leased aircraft's share of the fleet in service. A significant proportion of leased aircraft are subsequently added to lessor fleets through sale and leasebacks.

Analysis of the CAPA data on leased aircraft suggests that regional jets and narrowbodies are disproportionately popular among lessors, both by aircraft in service and by orders.

Turboprops, and in particular widebodies, appear to be proportionately less favoured by lessors.

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