The Flightglobal Fleet Forecast is a demand based model which estimates the future fleet, retirements and deliveries of commercial turboprop and jet aircraft in both the passenger and cargo sectors, based upon detailed analysis of historical trends and developments in the commercial aviation sector.

The forecast projects the evolution of the global commercial airline fleet and consequent demand for new aircraft through sophisticated modelling of traffic demand, aircraft retirements, fleet development and the future aircraft manufacturing scenario.

Passenger Traffic Demand

Passenger traffic demand forecasts are derived from analysis of historical passenger traffic in each of eight forecast regions. The relationship between this traffic demand and historical GDP and yield trends is used to derive a projection of future traffic demand. Load factor trends are analysed to project future capacity required to fulfil this traffic demand.

Fleet Required

The fleet required in each region required to fulfil this capacity demand, through an historical analysis of capacity and fleet data. The fleet analysis is based upon the Ascend Online Fleets database, which provides access to full histories of over 75,000 commercial aircraft by serial number. With the total capacity and productivity factors forecast, the fleet required in each region and aircraft category is projected as a product of these forecasts.


Retirements of the baseline fleet are projected based upon extensive analysis of historical removals from service over the past 20-years. Ascend applies a survivor curve methodology to understand this historical behaviour. This methodology compares the profile of aircraft remaining in service, by year of delivery, at the end of each of the past 20-years, relative to the number of aircraft delivered into service.

Thus, the survivor curve for each year and a statistical distribution of those survivor curves is built for each aircraft group and role (passenger and / or cargo), and applied to the baseline fleet to estimate annual retirements over the forecast period.

Delivery Forecasts

Delivery forecasts are a product of the projected fleet and retirement forecasts. As the fleet grows in response to continued traffic (demand) growth, and the residual fleet declines as a result of retirements, new aircraft deliveries will be required each year to fulfil this aircraft growth and replacement demand.

In the case of the freighter market, it will be a mixture of deliveries and conversions which fulfil the demand. Analysis of the existing and future competitive scenario, together with a view on which aircraft types and variants are expected to be in production, delivers the outlook for new aircraft deliveries by programme for the duration of the forecast.


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