Aircraft Fleet Data: An Insider's Guide

At the end of every major commercial runway globally or on top of a nearby office block, you’ll spot individuals equipped with binoculars, a notepad, thermos flask and snacks, we call these aviation enthusiasts plane spotters!

These enthusiasts typically collect aircraft registration numbers, gathering a database on where that aircraft has flown from, and where it is flying to next. They often observe these aircrafts with amazing frequency, almost forming personal connections with each. However, these plane spotters are actually only ever likely to see a very small proportion of the total aircraft in operation around the world, perhaps 1% at best. This fact really transforms their hobby into an endless pursuit!

But imagine if you could access a Global Aircraft Fleet Data Set detailing the history and current operations of commercial aircraft worldwide, plus a load of technical data. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Well, at OAG we have access to a wealth of flight data, so what do you want to know?

a lIFETIME rECORD

Fleet Data is the lifetime record of an aircraft, and it delivers valuable insights for many stakeholders in the ecosystem - and like all data, it tells an interesting story. Whilst most of us can probably tell the difference between an A380 (two decks) and an A320 (single aisle, long and thin), there are over one hundred different aircraft types operating everyday around the globe, so let’s follow a couple of examples:

  • an Emirates A380,
  • and a regional turboprop ATR42 of Calm Air, a small Canadian airline based in Manitoba.

Introducing A6-EDO

Tracking the Emirates A380 is easy, we know the registration of the aircraft is A6-EDO and the aircraft was delivered to Emirates on the 30th November 2010, having undertaken its first test flight on the 11th June 2010. Emirates had waited a long time for A6–EDO, the order was placed on the 4th November 2001, meaning the airline had waited nearly nine years for delivery which gives you an idea of how long in advance some airlines plan.

Constructed in Toulouse, the aircraft (which was the 57th A380 produced) has four GP7000 engines attached and can carry 489 passengers; 14 of which may be very lucky and be in First Class, then 76 lucky Business Class travellers and 399 in Economy Class. And for anyone interested in buying A6-EDO then its current value is just over US$27.6 million, so with only one owner that’s not a bad price!

To the end of January 2024, A6-EDO had been working hard it has flown for more than 44,000 hours, that equates to 1,833 days of constant flying over the fourteen years of service; Emirates sure work their aircraft hard! During those years, A6-EDO has taken off and landed more than 5,332 times, and typical flight times are around 8 hours and fourteen minutes; long enough for a decent First-Class meal or a film in Economy Class! Typically, the aircraft flies around 390 cycles, each cycle being a technical term for a take-off and landing, and cities the aircraft has flown over time are tracked.

Emirates-A380 (2)

Image:  Zurich, Switzerland, January 18, 2024 A6-EDO Emirates Airbus A380 Source: Robert Buchel, Shutterstock

Welcome To C-FJYW

While everyone recognises big aircraft types, the smaller regional aircraft provide lifeline services to small cities on their owners networks and C-FJYW has been working very hard on that task for many years.

Built in 1991 (yes, it is 33 years old!) the aircraft was the 235th of its kind to be built, and having the Manufacturers Serial Number is important on C-FJYW because its changed names or registrations once or twice. Initially, the aircraft was delivered to Simmons Air, but in 1995 was owned and operated by American Eagle Airlines before in 2006 entering semi-retirement for a few years before Calm Air started operating the aircraft under the C-FJYW registration in June.

To date, C-FJYW has flown for some 1,775 days non-stop and operated nearly 50,000 round trips with an average flight time of just 51 minutes - so a very different type of operation than that of A6-EDO, and only flies around four hours a day. Despite only being designed to carry 42 passengers and its age, C-FJYW is worth around US$ 1 million, so if you can’t afford an A380 then maybe this ATR42 with three careful owners is just what you need.

CalmAir

Image: C-FJYW, 1991 ATR 42-300, Airport KPIA Source: Thomas D Dittmer Airport-Data.com 

 

Continue reading to discover more details about OAG’s Fleet Data, including FAQs...

What Is Aircraft Fleet Data?

Global Aircraft Fleet Data provides valuable insights into aircraft performance, maintenance needs, fuel efficiency and airline commercial performance. Tracking over 78,000 different aircraft and more than 13,000 operators globally, crucial technical details such as engine type, manufacturer, fleet data are essential for understanding and analysing the global aviation market effectively.

What Data Is Included in Aircraft Fleet Data?

  • All commercial aircraft >19 seats
  • Aircraft Owner (owners, managers, trusts and SVPs)
  • Aircraft Type (registration number, aircraft type and variant)
  • Aircraft Operator (former and future, country, type, IOSA certification etc.)
  • Aircraft Engine (engine manufacturer, engine type and subtype)
  • Status (active, stored, written off, not yet delivered, first flight etc.)
  • Utilization (flight hours/cycles, forecasted cycles, annual utilization etc.)
  • Aircraft Orders (order entity, date, cancelation date etc.)
  • And more!

How Is Aircraft Fleet Data Collected?

Global Aircraft Fleet Data is collected via a number of sources, from full-time researchers to airlines and airports. Information is gathered on the aircraft type, who is currently operating it, where it was leased from, the type of engine it has and so much more. With more than 150 columns of data available per aircraft, there’s plenty of data to get your teeth stuck into! 

Which Aircraft Types Are Covered?

  • Airbus A300/A310 / A318/A319/A320/A321 / A330/A340 / A350 / A380 / A400
  • Airbus Canada A220
  • Antonov An-124 / An-148/158/178 / An-22* / An-225 / An-12*
  • ATR 42/72
  • BAe ARJ-70/85/100 / BAe 146-100/-200/-300 / ATP / Jetstream 31* / Jetstream 32* / Jetstream 41
  • Beechcraft 99 Airliner*
  • Boeing B707/720 / B717 / B727 / B737 / B747 / B757 / B767 / B777 / B787
  • Bombardier CRJ-100/200/700/900/1000
  • Cessna 408 SkyCourier
  • Concorde
  • COMAC ARJ21 / C919
  • Dassault Aviation Mercure
  • De Havilland Aircraft of Canada DHC-8
  • De Havilland Canada DHC-6 / DHC-7
  • Dirgantara Indonesia N219
  • Dornier 228/328/728
  • Embraer EMB-120 / C123 / ERJ-135/-140/-145 / EMB-170/175/190/195 / EMB-390
  • Fokker 28/70/100 / Fokker 50/60
  • Ilyushin 18* / 62 / 76* / 86 / 96 / 114
  • Irkut MC-21 / SSJ
  • Lockheed L1011 / L-749 Constellation / L-1049 Super Constellation / L-188
  • McDonnell Douglas DC-6 / DC-8 / DC-9 / DC-10 / MD-11 / MD-80/90
  • Mitsubishi MRJ90
  • Saab 2000 / 340
  • Tupolev Tu-134* / Tu-154 / Tu-204/214 / Tu-334
  • VFW-614
  • Viking Air DHC-6-400
  • Xian Aircraft Company MA-60/600
  • Yak-42

*only aircraft active after the year 2000 are listed in the database

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What Is Aircraft Fleet Data Used For?

Stakeholders within the ecosystem use Aircraft Fleet Data to understand the composition of an airline’s fleet of aircraft, including:

  • Total aircraft in operation
  • Number of aircraft that are in maintenance or in storage
  • Aircraft type and engine type
  • Aircraft on order
  • Estimated aircraft retirement date

Fleet Data also shows the ownership and leasing details of the aircraft, this is important as a significant proportion of aircraft is leased and not actually owned by airlines. The data also gives an estimation of fair market value and market lease rates for individual aircraft, used for various reasons across the industry such as:

  1. MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul)

The market for aircraft MRO (pertains to services that include the inspection, rebuilding, and alteration of aircrafts, as well as the supply of spare parts, accessories, raw materials, and other consumables for aircraft manufacturing, With the global aircraft fleet projected to reach over 38,0000 by 2033, the global aircraft MRO is estimated to reach a 10-year consolidated market size value of over 125 billion U.S. dollars.

An MRO provider is one of the certified entities that qualify to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul on an aircraft, engine, or accessory.

MROs need the serial number of aircraft to figure out the utilisation of the aircraft, age of aircraft and which airline operates certain models. They use this data to predict maintenance cycles, and which airlines might require maintenance soon and create forecasts using the data. Spare parts suppliers also need this data to understand when they are coming off lease, and when maintenance may be required so that they can allocate their resources accordingly.

  1. Banks and Credit Risk Decisions

Banks need to make credit risk decisions at a macro level-looking at the overall worth of an airline’s fleet of aircraft to measure how much their total portfolio is worth and understand the total value of an airline. They also use FMV (fair market value) on the aircraft to make lending decisions for that actual aircraft. Example - they wouldn’t give an airline $50M to buy a $20M aircraft.

  1. Lessors and Market Lease Rates

Lessors use FMV on the aircraft to determine market lease rates. Example - a $100M aircraft will lease for more than a $50M aircraft. Market lease rates are primarily based on aircraft type, engine type, and the age and condition of the aircraft. They also use fleet data when they purchase used aircraft for FMV calculation.

  1. Investors and Valuations and Appraisals

Investment firms use fleet data primarily to see what aircraft an airline has on order so they can understand how much an airline will be spending on new aircraft and when they will be arriving. An aircraft’s fleet comprises a large chunk of its value, so any changes are pertinent from an investment standpoint, especially for fundamental investors.

  1. End of life Asset Management

These companies purchase retired aircraft for disassembly and part-out. They base their valuation on the entire history of the aircraft, as well as the important components that are on the aircraft when it is retired - engines, APU’s, landing gear, etc. They do a very deep dive into the history of the aircraft and use fleet data to determine FMV, as well as understand who operated it and where. Some markets produce less wear and tear on an aircraft. They also need to know when and where it was maintained. The list goes on and on for them, but fleet data is crucial to them as it tells the story of what an aircraft did while it was in operation. 

  1. Airlines Fleet Strategy & Management 

Airlines monitor fleet transactions use it to check which aircraft might be suitable for their fleet, which aircraft are being ordered and delivered. Airlines may also use fleet data to monitor competitors’ fleet makeup and any changes. Network planning combine fleet with schedules to understand which fleet can be used for new routes.

  1. OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

The global airplane manufacturing market is valued at over $400 billion. This process begins with the design, manufacture, and assembly of aircraft by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Fleet data ensure the market can monitor trends, understand existing fleet performance, plan for the future and growth market share.

Aircraft manufacturers, engine and component parts suppliers, technology companies can use competitive fleet data analysis and to track airline orders and keep track of engine and APU (Auxiliary Power Units) changes.

How Can It Be Used with Other Aviation Data Sets?

Critical data through the cloud is fuelling data transformation across the sector. Accessing aircraft fleet information with real-time and historical operational data (Flight status) and other key data sets will future proof your aircraft data analysis capabilities.

Thanks to it being in our cloud-based data warehouse, Flight Info Direct, the possibilities of combining fleet data with other data sets are endless. Let’s take a look at the insights you could expect to see from combining fleet data with status data.

Combining Fleet with Status

Combining fleet data with status allows you to see where in the world an aircraft has flown, what date and time it flew, and whether it was delayed, cancelled or on time. Analyse by aircraft type to capture emerging trends and commonalities.

Another key feature of combining the two data sets, is the ability to see the aircrafts previous flights. You may have noticed on FlightRadar24 the ability to see where your flight has previously been, and this is something that is possible to do by merging the two data sets.

Data-Fleet-1

(Click to enlarge)

Source: Data from CH-Aviation

Combining Fleet with Schedules

As the aircraft leasing and aviation financing sector navigates through 2024, it faces a rapidly changing landscape marked by rising lease rates due to OEM delivery challenges. Getting ahead of failures can help reduce unscheduled downtime and work order cycle times, lowering costs, reducing delays and cancellations, and improving customer satisfaction.

Any keen analyst could combine fleet and schedules data to see which aircraft are typically flown on certain routes and use this data for forecasting and analysis.