Asia Pacific and Middle East airlines to add over 600 widebodies by 2013


The Asia Pacific region is powering ahead as the world's largest market for widebody aircraft, with some 82 widebodies scheduled for delivery to the region's airlines in 2010, jumping to 141 in 2011 and peaking at 148 in 2012, according to the Ascend fleet database. Asia Pacific airlines will take delivery of exactly half of the total widebody aircraft deliveries worldwide over the next three years - well above their current status of operating one third of the world's widebodies. This speaks volumes about the expanding role of Asia Pacific airlines in global long-haul aviation.

Widebody aircraft deliveries by region: 2010 to 2013

Middle East's share of widebodies also rising

Also growing its share over the next three years is the Middle East, where 28 widebodies will be delivered in 2010, dipping to 18 next year, before surging to 35 in 2012 and 43 in 2013.

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Middle East airlines currently operate 447 widebodies, or just over 10% of the worldwide widebody fleet, but the 2013 delivery plan is some 17% of total scheduled deliveries worldwide that year.

Widebody aircraft in service by region: Feb-2010

Europe to take over from North America as second largest widebody market

Meanwhile, as US airlines continue to wind back operations, Europe will probably overtake North America as the second biggest widebody market (behind Asia Pacific) by the end of next year. European airlines are scheduled to take delivery of 50 widebodies this year and 53 next, compared to just 21 and 18 for North American carriers in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

These trends have widespread implications for airline financing/leasing sector, as well as airport revenues, affecting everything from route structures to landing charges through to duty free retailing.

Widebody deliveries peaking in 2012

In total, some 193 widebody aircraft are scheduled for delivery worldwide in 2010, rising to 254 in 2011 before peaking in 2012 at 293 and easing to 250 in 2013.

Widebody aircraft deliveries by region: 2010 to 2013

With a little good fortune and some good judgment, this growth sequence may match the tone of the hoped-for economic recovery. But, unless the rate of recovery is faster than current predictions, the likelihood remains of a lot of capacity washing around the system - and an obvious impact on restraining yields.

See related report: Airbus sees strong Asian orders, but not until 2012. Right now, there is too much capacity

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