I am looking for historical data on the number of commercial passenger aircraft in service, ideally with additional information on the associated airline.
My search so far has turned up one scientific publication (from Finnair maintenance) that provides data on the total number of aircraft, by type of aircraft:
The data seems to have been sourced from the "ACAS" database, which was offered at the time by FlightGlobal:
ACAS is the leading aircraft database for Windows PCs. ACAS covers Western-built fixed-wing civil aircraft from 8 seats to ultralarge airliners. Also covers business jets and military transports. Click for a demo.
FlightGlobal has since spun out its data offering to Cirium, which offer data access at a hefty price tag. Whether their current offer also includes historical fleet fleet data going back to 1960 (or earlier) is not clear.
I found two other publications that might potentially be useful:
- The well-known "JP Airline Fleets International" publication - seems to be available only in print, historical data would likely need to be extracted from a large number of editions.
- The Air-Britain "Airline Fleets 2023" - again only in print.
ICAO and IATA have their own commercial data services, but those are (like the services of Cirium) rather expensive.
If there is any publicly available data, I would appreciate a hint on where to find it!