When it comes to the average age of an airline’s fleet, the airlines from the United Arab Emirates are the newest. Airlines such as Etihad from Abu Dhabi and Emirates out of Dubai generally boast the newest, latest jets. The US is way behind.
Blame it on years of losing money or the size of their fleets. But when you step onto a US airline, you’ll likely be flying on some old metal unless you’re flying Virgin America whose fleet’s average age is five years. The average age of Delta’s planes is three times that–about 17 years. United and American Airlines have fleets that average 13.6 years in age
Virgin isn’t the only one with newer planes. Spirit Airlines is right behind Virgin with a fleet whose average age is 5.2 years. And JetBlue is 7.4 years.
Virgin and JetBlue are newer airlines than Delta, American or United, so their planes are newer. But does this make a difference to you, the passenger?
It might mean a plane’s entertainment system isn’t cutting edge, but on the important question of safety, you’re very safe in older aircrafts because they’re regularly inspected for defects and their critical parts are constantly upgraded.