In recent times I’ve come to accept service in the airline industry is generally going down. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to find I have been on flights with broken seats, tray tables and even broken in-flight entertainment systems (no so fun on a 9 hour flight!). I for one, have wandered, if the inside of a plane is in such a bad shape, what about the outside?
The reality is that the lifespan of many planes is around 20 years. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to aviation experts that the Germanwings flight 9525 that crashed on its way from Barcelona was 24 years old. To me the idea of flying on a plane that is even older than me is quite scary, but you have to remember the reputable airlines take safety very seriously so a 24 year plane (or older) would have passed the necessary stringent safety checks.
This led me to wonder, exactly how old are some of the planes we are using on a day to day basis? I had a look at airfleets.net, and was actually pretty surprised by some of the results.
(click on the image for full screen).
How old are the planes you fly on?
Icelenadair has the oldest fleet with an average age of 20.2 years. It’s eldest plane, a Boeing 757 is 25 years old, closely followed by it’s Airbus A320 at 22 years old. The north-American airlines Delta and Air Canada follow next, with the average age of their planes at of 17.2 and 13.8 year respectively. This is closely followed by many of the carriers part of the Lufthansa Group – Germanwings (13.7 years), Swiss (12.9 years), Lufthansa (11.2 years). In terms of British airlines, the traditional airlines British Airways and Virgin have the oldest fleets at 12.8 and 9 years respectively, whilst the lowcost airlines have a lower average fleet age. Easyjet at 6.2 years and Ryanair at 6.9 years. Perhaps the most interesting statistic was Aeroflot’s average fleet age of just 4.4 years. I found this surprising, as I have heard many people refer to Aeroflot as having a old fleet. I guess perception doesn’t match reality.
Please note, dates are correct as of August 2015.