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COVID-19 disrupts Asia-Pacific airline fleet strategies

Premium Analysis

In a span of just 4-5 months, COVID-19 has rendered airline fleet plans completely irrelevant to market realities. Asia-Pacific airlines are now scrambling to defer this year’s aircraft deliveries and reassessing long-term orders, as they look to realign their strategies with the industry’s bleak outlook.

With so much of their fleets likely to remain parked for an extended period – particularly international aircraft – airlines in the region have little appetite to add new aircraft if they can avoid it. There will also be significant changes in the composition of existing fleets as larger aircraft are retired early or grounded for the foreseeable future.

Some moves by Asia-Pacific carriers to scale back growth were already occurring – and have been accelerated and amplified by the latest crisis. However, despite the prevailing trend some airlines still plan to receive orders, or in rare cases are even contemplating adding new types.

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