Our latest analysis of active aircraft around the world shows another small sign of recovery in the airline industry.

We see that 57% of airline fleets globally remain grounded. This is 2% less than what we saw two weeks ago, when, on April 24, we wrote that 59% of airline fleets were grounded. As of now, ch-aviation fleets advanced data shows 18,496 aircraft are grounded for storage or maintenance. This means airlines moved 500 aircraft back into active status during last few weeks. Still, 57% is more than the 55% we saw in the beginning of April.

At least, there’s a trend of recovery instead of further groundings.

This grounded aircraft analysis is in line with the capacity analysis from last week, where we saw the scheduled supply of airline seats reaching the bottom as airlines prepared for recovery.

The number of aircraft grounded does not fully represent the full picture as many airlines reduce utilisation to a minimum to avoid storing aircraft. We expect in further months we will see utilisation drops for aircraft (ch-aviation fleets advanced data also includes utilisation data).

The latest update shows three regions have the highest percentage of grounded fleets: Africa, Europe and South America have more than 70% of total aircraft grounded.

At the same time, airlines in North America still continue to ground the aircraft, but the jump of percentage is not as big as we saw two weeks ago (grounded fleets went up from 39% to 47% in 14 days). Now we see airlines in North America have 49% of the fleets grounded.

Active Total %, grounded
Africa 429 1,547 72%
Asia 5,674 10,849 48%
Europe 2,162 7,953 73%
North America 5,061 9,827 49%
Oceania 398 948 58%
South America 372 1,400 73%

The main driver of the growing number of active aircraft in Asia is the China market. This country has a fast-paced, strong path toward recovery. We can now conclude that airlines in China never had the same high level of groundings as in other parts of the world. In February, we saw more than 29% of the fleet grounded by Chinese airlines, in the end of April this number stayed at 25%, and now we see only 1/5 of the fleet is still not active in China.

Active Total %, grounded
United States of America 4,481 8,107 45%
China 3,134 3,925 20%
Russian Federation 557 1,168 52%
Canada 370 1,029 64%
United Kingdom 222 899 75%
India 183 844 78%
Japan 496 720 31%
Germany 222 703 68%
Australia 280 676 59%
Indonesia 147 641 77%

The top 10 largest markets have significant gaps in the percentage of grounded fleets. China has 20% of the fleets grounded, while airlines in United Kingdom or India have more than 3/4 of the fleets grounded.

In North America we see the United States grounded 100 more aircraft than two weeks ago, while grounded aircraft in Canada grew by 20 units.

We use ch-aviation fleets advanced data for this analysis. Our fleet team works to deliver the latest updates on airline commercial fleets globally.