Facts and Figures of the Fleet in Service of Aircraft & Helicopters

Facts and Figures of the Fleet in Service of Aircraft & Helicopters

Maybe you do not have the same fascination for facts and figures as I do, but I have always been interested to see some of the information which can be found in the research undertaken by companies, especially those involved in aviation and which unveils the way things are going.

Take for instance, the latest edition of Air BP Lubricants “Turbine -Engined Fleets of the World’s Airlines,” commonly referred to as the “TEF Guide”, a 136-page text-only volume packed with facts and figures showing that, although there had been a 12, 7% increase in the number of turbo prop airliners which have been retired from service between 2011 and 2012, there had been a 4, 6% increase in the number of new aircraft on order.

At the end of June this year there were 4918 turbo prop airliners in service worldwide reflecting a 1,1% increase compared with 2012s figure of 4864.

The most common aircraft in the turbo prop category in airline service at the end of 2012 was the Cessna Caravan 208B with a total of 412, a slight increase in the 2011 figure of 408. Next in line is the Bombardier Dash-8-Q400 with 376 in service at the end of 2012 and 46 on order. All Dash-8 models ranging from the early-100 to the Q400, total 798 in service.

The ATR 72-600 is classified as the turbo prop airliner with the highest number of orders in both 2011 and 2012, namely 113 and 124 in the respective years. At the end of 2012, there were ATR models ranging from the early ATR 42-300 to the latest ATR 72-600 in service around the world, of which the ATR 72-500 at 308 had the highest individual number in service.

Smaller twin turbo prop are also well represented around the world with, for example, 371 Beech 99s through to the Beech 1900D model accounting for a total of 371.Beech King Airs ranging in size from the King Air C90 through all models to the King Air 350i are also popular among the smaller commuter airlines totaling 158 of all models.

At 119 the Let-410 UVP is the most popular model from this manufacturer with the total of all margues making up 131 in airline service around the world.

Jet Airliners

IATAs claims about the growth of the airline industry are borne out by figures in the TEF Guide. From 2011 to 2012 there was a 4, 08% increase in the number of jet-powered aircraft on order.

However, there has been a slight (1,06%) decrease in the number of jet airlines actually in service between 2012 and the first six months of this year-21135 down to 20912 -but this drop will soon be recovered and surpassed as new aircraft on order enter service.

“There has been significant growth in the popularity of fuel-efficient aircraft, particularly the Airbus A320neo which received the highest number of orders in 2012 with a total of 1, 153,” the guide said.

The TEF Guide also points to the A320-200 being the most common airliner in operation last year, namely 2905, followed by the Boeing 737-800 with 2 730 in service.

A point of interest is that, during the same period, the number of jet airliners retired decreased by 11,33% (from 503 to 446) when compared with the previous year, probably caused by start-up carriers taking up the slack by employing older aircraft.

But it is not only start-up carriers which are using older aircraft. All airlines in the world using turbine-powered aircraft are listed alphabetically in the TEF Guide, and reading through the listing of African carriers, it is amazing just how many are still using first and second generation airliners, albeit the majority as freighters.

Nevertheless, it is not uncommon to come across aircraft in Africa such as various marques of the Boeing 707, B727 and early B737s; McDonnell Douglas DC-8, DC-10 and early DC-9s still in service as passenger carriers.

Small wonder that the EU has imposed embargoes on so many African airlines (named in the infamous “Black List” forbidding their entry into EU air space.

Although it may seem that the iconic Boeing 747 is being rapidly replaced by more fuel-efficient aircraft such as the B777 series, there are still 722 B747s of all models flying worldwide, the most profilic model being the basic 747-400 “Electric Jumbo” which accounts for 309 of the total.

At the time of publication, the TEF Guide lists only 33 of the latest model the 747-8 as being in service, 29 of which are freighters on order and 27 of the 81 passenger version on order. No other 747 models had orders outstanding when the guide was published.

Holding the record for the type with the most models still in service ,is the Boeing 737 with 5455 of all marques.Top of the marques list was the -800 with 2730 in service followed by -700 with 1037.

On order at the end of 2012 were 743 B737 Max-8; 135 Max-9; 240 B737-700; 842 B737-800 and 340 B737-900 ERs.

Most corporate sized jets, commonly referred to as “Bizjets” are operated by many airlines, although most are in single-digit numbers-ones, twos or threes ,the exception being the Gulfstream G550 of which there are twelve listed as being in airline service.

There are also a surprising large number of turbine-powered helicopters listed as being airline service. Euro copter is tops with 135 of virtually all its models represented from the AS-332L Super Puma down to the SA-318C Alouette 11 with the most common being the AS-350B3 with 27 helicopters in service.

Bell comes in second with a total of 117 helicopters operating with airlines, the Bell 212 with 30 models in service being the most popular.

Ranked third in airline service is Sikorsky with 42 helicopters, of which the S76C++ is the most popular.

Anthony A Juma is the Editor and Director Commercial and Flights Operations at Wings Over Africa Aviation Limited. This is an Air Charter Company that specializes on Air News On The Fleet in Service of Aircraft & Helicopter for Scheduled and Private flights. The website has guided thousands of travelers to achieve their dream holiday. For more information and guidance, visit the site at http://www.wingsoverafrica-aviation.com/index.php/our-fleet.html

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