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The global commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling, and recycling market size was valued at USD 5.95 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 6.74 billion in 2022 to USD 14.35 million by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.85% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling and recycling experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling and recycling market exhibited a decline of 12.13% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Aircraft decommissioning is a multidisciplinary process that includes many features of aircraft, including environmental, safety, legal, operational and economic features. Decommissioning takes place after the aircraft has passed the end of its useful life. It includes processes such as aircraft disassembly, engine disassembly, and component disassembly. Furthermore, the increase in commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling and recycling facilities is one of the key market trends.The aviation industry is becoming greener and more cost-effective. Therefore, recycled aircraft parts from end-of-life aircraft are becoming more and more popular. Engine Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) service providers and lessors are finding increasing demand for some types of older engines or parts in their portfolio. These requirements create opportunities for Used Serviceable Material (USM) suppliers.
Travel Restrictions Amid the Pandemic Hindered Market Elevation
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the airline industry faced a significant loss due to decrease in overall demand across the globe. For example, during FY 20-21, according to a report by IATA, the airline industry witnessed nearly 60% decline in passenger travel compared to previous year. In 2020, governments in various regions announced complete closure or temporary closure of industry which affected the market negatively. Supply shortages and lack of skilled-forces disrupted the market growth as well.
During 2020, new aircraft deliveries also witnessed a decline of nearly 43.5% compared to the previous year. Due to COVID-19, the overall market valuation reduced by 12.13%. However, in 2021, the market showed signs of recovery, already exceeding revenue generation, and demand projections in the first six months. The industry was back on track with the revival of allied facilities. In addition, in 2021, the operational impact of COVID-19 was minimized and the industry resumed operations, returning the economy and demand back on track. Rising usage of retired aircraft boosted the demand for commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling and recycling process in 2021.
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Technological Advancements in Machine Learning and Robotics to Aid Market Expansion
Recent advancements in machine learning and robotics have paved the way for new and efficient methods for aircraft disassembly, dismantling, and recycling processes. In 2020, AITIIP developed a robotic system for aircraft disassembly, dismantling, and recycling. The system utilizes machine learning techniques to perform water cutting and pyrolysis process to thermoset material separately. The system also consists of a dummy tool to draw a path which will be followed by a robotic arm for cutting or any other process. Aviation 4.0 has provided several other tools and techniques to implement the disassembly process efficiently.
Augmented Reality (AR) based disassembly planning has proved to be efficient in reducing disassembly time, time required for parts condition analysis, and flow selection for recovered parts. Besides advancements in robotics, researchers are also developing fully recyclable composite material and thermoplastic material for airframe and other structures to improve the recycling process.
Technological Developments in Remanufacturing Process Catalyze the Commercial Aircraft Disassembly, Dismantling and Recycling Market Growth
Remanufacturing refers to the process of developing a used product to its performance specifications previously stated by OEMs and providing the final product with a warranty which is at least equivalent to newly manufactured components. Remanufacturing is a sustainable way of producing parts/components at lower cost. The whole process of remanufacturing includes inspection, comparison, reprocessing and testing. Technological advancements in additive manufacturing have proved to be a cost-effective and energy efficient way of remanufacturing process.
Powder bed fusion, wire Directed Energy Deposition (DED), and binder jetting are the advanced additive manufacturing techniques, which are being utilized for the remanufacturing process. Additive manufacturing is nearly 80% more energy-efficient than traditional practices. For example, the processing of 1 kg of titanium parts requires 1,686 kWh whereas similar processes can be done at 278, 359, and 439 kWh with binder jetting, powder bed fusion, and wire DED, respectively.
Rising Number of Retired Commercial Aircraft to Propel Market Growth
As per Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA), nearly 12,000 commercial aircraft would retire in the next two decades. Moreover, Commercial aircraft possess a lifespan of 20 to 25 years on average. An aircraft runs nearly 40 million kms before its estimated end of life. Commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling and recycling has witnessed major improvements in the last few years, which led to the development of the process that can recycle nearly 80% of components.
Aircraft disassembly, dismantling, and recycling makes use of several valuable components as USM or rotable parts and material of airframe structure, which can be recycled for further utilization. Systematic disassembly, smart shredding and different cutting methods assist in the dismantling process and make it easier. Among the scrapped aircraft, narrow body accounts for nearly 50% of the total retiring fleet whereas wide body accounts for approximately 28%. Therefore, rising number of retiring aircraft and enhanced scrapping process will propel the market growth in near future.
Hazardous Materials Utilized in Aircraft to Hinder Market Proliferation
Hazardous materials in an aircraft can include asbestos, radioactive elements in emergency signs or smoke detectors, bromo-tri-fluoro-methane in fire extinguishers, and so on.
A few older versions of aircraft are made of parts such as adhesives, engine mounts, valves, brake pads, gaskets which are made from asbestos due to its durability and fire resistance capability. During dismantling or recycling of aircraft, asbestos generates harmful gases which can cause lung cancer.
Frequent exposure to gas stored in fire extinguishers can lead to several skin diseases, headache, irregular heartbeat, and so on. Smoke detectors contain small amounts of americium, a synthetic radioactive element, which can pose a major challenge to technicians and operators. Radioactive elements are also used in exit signs to light up the signs without the use of batteries or other power supply. Exit signs usually contain tritium sealed in a glass tube. Therefore, handling and disposal of these hazardous materials pose major challenges and may hamper the growth of the market.
USM to Dominate the Market Owing to Rising Focus of Airlines on Decreasing Operational Costs
By application, the market is segmented into disassembly & dismantling, recycling & storage, USM, and rotable parts. The USM segment dominates the market in the base year due to the growing number of aged aircraft fleet and early aircraft retirements led by COVID-19. Increasing focus of major airlines on reusing used serviceable materials in their maintenance activities to drive down operational costs will lead to surplus supply of Used Serviceable Material (USM), which will contribute to the segmental growth.
The rotable parts segment will witness moderate growth during the forecast period. Rotable components are parts that can be used many times by repairing or refurbishing them. With rising demand for an efficient and cost-effective supply chain for rotables, there have been great efforts within the aviation industry to improve rotable inventory systems and overall inventory management.
Disassembly & dismantling segment is projected to showcase moderate growth during the forecast period. The growth of this segment is attributed to increasing number of aged aircraft around the world.
Furthermore, recycling and storage segment is anticipated to grow at a moderate pace during the study period owing to the growing number of recycling activities and storage operations for commercial aircraft around the world.
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Narrow Body Segment to Dominate the Market Due to Early Retirement of Single Aisle Aircraft
By aircraft type, the market is divided into narrow body, wide body, and regional jets. The narrow body aircraft segment is anticipated to lead due to a rise in early retirements of single aisle aircraft by all the major airlines around the world.
Wide body segment will witness significant growth during the forecast period owing to the increasing demand for dismantling and recycling services for wide body and jumbo aircraft. For instance, in 2021, British Airways, the world's largest operator of Boeing 747s, grounded its entire fleet of jumbo jets shortly after air travel plunged into free fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The regional jet segment is anticipated to show moderate growth during the study period of 2018-2032. The high emergence of regional jets in the past has led to high retirement rates for regional jets over the forecast period.
North America Commercial Aircraft Disassembly, Dismantling and Recycling Market Size, 2021 (USD billion
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In terms of geography, the market of commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling and recycling is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and South America. North America dominated the market in 2021 and was valued at USD 2.27 billion in 2021. The growth in this region is due to a high number of retiring aircraft fleets and a well-established USM market. Moreover, the region has a well-developed infrastructure for commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling and recycling services. Furthermore, increasing number of modern fleet has ultimately led to early retirement of mid generation conventional aircraft which will boost market expansion. For instance, in 2020, Delta retired over 200 aircraft, which include both mainline and regional aircraft, including CRJ-200s.
Europe held the second-largest commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling and recycling market share in 2021. The high growth of the market is attributed to the presence of a large number of aircraft lessors in the region. Moreover, the country has a presence of some major players involved in the market, including Aircraft End of Life Solutions and Air Salvage International, which will aid the regional market proliferation.
The market in Asia Pacific is one of the major emerging markets of commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling and recycling. This growth is attributed to the expansion of the airline industry in India and China. The growing aftermarket industry in economies such as India and China will drive market progression in this region. Moreover, India is one of the biggest importers of aircraft scrap, which will also contribute to regional growth.
The market in the Middle East will witness substantial growth in the near future owing to increasing number of retired aircraft fleet in the region. Moreover, the demand for these services is increasing owing to the increase in investment in aircraft dismantling facilities and presence of key players such as Falcon Aircraft Recycling, Aircraft Solutions Middle East, and others.
The South America region is anticipated to witness moderate growth during the forecast period. The growth in the region is owing to the increase in attention toward aircraft recycling and dismantling due to the high cost associated with aftermarket components and high economic life. Furthermore, a large number of aircraft operators having expertise in engine teardown is anticipated to boost the market growth. For instance, in Brazil, LATAM is the biggest domestic airline with the largest fleet. The total fleet of the airline as of June 2022 comprises 286 passenger aircraft and 14 cargo aircraft. Moreover, in 2019 the company had more than 170 aircraft. Owing to increase in fleet size, the market is expected to grow at a significant pace.
Technological Adoption for Higher Processing Capacity is the Key Focus of Leading Players
The global market is highly fragmented with the presence of various key commercial aircraft disassembly, dismantling and recycling players such as Aircraft End-Of-Life Solutions, Air Salvage International Ltd, Tramac Aerosave, Vallair, Cavu Aerospace, and China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited, among others. These players are focusing on providing technologically advanced infrastructure, higher storage capacity, and temperature controlled storage facilities. Besides, increasing investment in R&D activities and the rising focus on strategic acquisitions and collaborations in Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) would support expansion of the processing capacity.
An Infographic Representation of Commercial Aircraft Disassembly Dismantling and Recycling Market
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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It comprises all major aspects, such as R&D capabilities and optimization of the manufacturing process. Moreover, the report offers insights into the market trends and primarily highlights key industry developments. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, it mainly focuses on several factors that have contributed to the global market growth in recent years.
CAGR of 7.85% from 2022 to 2032
Value (USD Billion)
By Application, Aircraft Type, and Geography
By Aircraft Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 5.95 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 14.35 million by 2032.
The market will exhibit a CAGR of 7.85% during the forecast period.
The USM segment is the leading segment in the market.
Aircraft End-of-Life Solutions (AELS) BV (Netherlands), Air Salvage International Ltd (Gloucestershire), Aerocycle (Canada), and CAVU Aerospace (Germany) are the major players in the global market.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.
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