Alex Miller from KLM UK Engineering, a member of AFRA, discusses the issues involved in parting out aircraft and other methods of recycling. The number of aircraft being retired and parted depends on several different market forces and the calculated value of an aircraft. It tends to follow a cycle: when there is a high demand for parts and the price is high, aircraft are parted out as their value is higher in parts, but when the market becomes inundated, the value is higher for flying aircraft which make the most of these cheaper parts.
Fuel price is a key factor which affects this cycle. A low fuel price will drive demand for older, less fuel efficient aircraft. For example, a few years ago, the B737 CL was a prime part out candidate but now, with the current low fuel price and saturated parts marketplace, it appears to be making a resurgence, with fewer being parted out and more being kept in operation. It is now a viable option for airlines not wanting to spend B737 NG money…Full article.