Southeast Asia LCC fleet expansion to reaccelerate in 2017 after rare single digit growth in 2016

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Southeast Asia’s low cost airline fleet grew by only 7% in 2016, representing the slowest growth in several years. The region’s two main groups, AirAsia and Lion, both slowed their growth significantly, with AirAsia slightly reducing its Southeast Asian fleet in 2016.

Southeast Asian LCCs ended 2016 with a fleet of 623 aircraft – up a modest 41 aircraft compared to the beginning of the year. The same group of 21 airlines added 67 aircraft in 2015 and 61 aircraft in 2014.

Several airlines responded to overcapacity, which peaked in 2014 following a period of overzealous capacity expansion, by deferring aircraft deliveries. Overcapacity continues to persist in several Southeast Asian markets, but some LCCs are reaccelerating expansion in 2017. Given the sector’s huge order book it is likely 2016 will represent the low point in Southeast Asian LCC fleet growth.

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