OAG, the flight data supplier and now a division of United Business Media, has merged with sister company Back Aviation Solutions to form OAG Back. Back itself is a provider of information, analysis tools and services to the airline market. There are clear synergies between the companies.
As a launch analysis, OAG Back has published a survey of worldwide fleet information that reveals a significant variation in the types of aircraft operated by scheduled network carriers, compared with those used by low cost carriers (LCC) and other sectors.
Network carriers operating scheduled services show a combined fleet comprising 47% narrow-body aircraft, 20% turboprop, 18% wide-body jets and a further 15% regional jets.
For LCCs, narrow-body aircraft dominate the combined fleet, accounting for 89% of the entire global low cost sector.
The average age for the wide-body jets operated by scheduled airlines is 10.7 years, which is half the average age of those operated by non-scheduled airlines (20.9 years).
Overall, LCCs have the youngest in-service fleets, with an average age of 7.2 years for the dominant aircraft type, narrow-body jets. In comparison, the average age for narrow-body aircraft among scheduled network carriers is 13.5 years.
Interestingly, the average age of regional jets operated by both low cost and scheduled network carriers is just 6.4 years.
What the survey indicates is that, unlike in the past when new start-ups have invariably opted for second-user aircraft acquired normally through leasing companies, the new breed of LCCs through generous finance arrangements, can introduce aircraft built to their specification and straight off the production line.
While many claim to have the youngest fleets, the pendulum will swing the other way once the new Boeing 787 begins to arrive and the LCC fleets themselves age.