Commercial Aviation: A Huge & Growing Industry
Airbus’ Global Market Forecast 2015-2034 suggests that the commercial air transport sector will continue to grow due primarily to demographic and economic growth trends. Regional growth through 2034 shows the Asia/Pacific region leading the way with a 39% share of new aircraft deliveries which worldwide will total 32,585.
Big & Getting Bigger
A report by Columbia University provides an outline of the global commercial airline industry indicating:
- There are currently more than 2,000 airlines operating more than 23,000 aircraft at 3,700 airports around the world. These airlines serve a total of more than 3.5 billion passengers a year or about 96,000 passengers a day.
- The commercial aircraft industry has been growing at 5% per year over the past 30 years and is expected to double over the next decade.
According to a report by Price Waterhouse (PWC) 2015 Aviation Trends, to fulfill the needs of airline passengers, airlines are:
- Increasing the quality of the airline passenger experience by getting to know passenger needs and delivering enhanced products and services.
- Reducing costs and improving operational efficiency especially in the area of fuel efficiency where jet fuel gobbles up 40-55% of operating expenses.
- Encouraging the entire supply chain of commercial aircraft to continuously improve processes and increase efficiency.
- Expanding into new territories and markets in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.
New Technology Improving the Airline Industry
One of the key trends in improving technology is the complete digitization of the airline business. This includes real-time resource planning and allocation, and high-tech enabled equipment and engines that notify maintenance staff and operations centers, often while in flight, when aircraft problems arise.
At the same time, the entire supply chain is involved in upgrading IT systems not only to improve their own operations but to prepare for the increasing data requirements that next-generation aircraft and power plants present.
The speed and quality of improvement in commercial airlines over the next decade will depend on the speed of adoption of new technologies that will make airplanes not only better for passengers but better for operators’ bottom line.
Following is a video created by Airbus Publishers, “Flying on Demand,” which discusses a 20-year forecast on the growth of the commercial aviation market.