I want to start with the obligatory section on COVID. Before COVID, the aviation industry was poised to ‘take off’. Since COVID, however, the entire aviation industry has been suffering drastically. Low passenger numbers have reduced airline revenue, which has all-but-ceased demand for new planes, which further reduces demand for new airplane parts. But while 2020 and early 2021 painted a grim picture, the future can only look brighter as COVID vaccines roll-out, quarantine restrictions relax, and the general public’s travel anxieties reduce. As these COVID restrictions and fears abate, experts predict that people will want to make up for lost travel time. The airline industry is already seeing dramatic increases in future bookings. Although the world lost a year of travel, the aviation industry is poised for a strong rebound.
As we continue towards the light at the end of the tunnel, what areas should we be looking at over the next 10 years. What changes will we see and what will influence them? Take a look at our top 9 industry movers!
Technology in all sectors has never moved faster than right now, and this is no exception in the aviation industry. As lighter, stronger, and less costly materials continue to be developed, we will see improvements and changes to airplane design, fuel consumption and fuel types. We could see the adoption of drone style designs, now mostly being used for videography and delivery services, to the transportation side of aviation.
In line with technology, artificial intelligence will continue to help manage flights both on the ground and in the air. With more people flying, this technology will be paramount to increasing efficiencies and improving safety. AI will also help us design better aerodynamic and fuel-efficient planes. Much like AI is being studied to help control traffic congestion in large cities, this same technology will be used as more and more planes are in the air.
If there is one thing for certain, green energy is becoming mainstream. As research continues to be done to create more powerful electric motors, as batteries become better and more efficient, and governments encourage more environmentally friendly options, we could see a real push to introduce commercially viable planes utilizing energy from sources other than petroleum. Whether these planes get their energy from solar, wind, water, or geothermal sources, their carbon footprint will continue to shrink. Although this may seem far off, the idea is not new and the speed with which technology is moving sees us hitting this target even sooner.
Space travel is the next big move for aviation. These trips will most likely just be suborbital. There are a number of big players in this space, including Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla and SpaceX), Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon and Blue Origin), and Sir Richard Branson (Founder of Virgin Group and Virgin Galactic), investing considerable sums of money. The commercial technologies developed for space travel should have extensive impacts on aviation.
BRICS and Other Emerging Economies
As the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) economies continue to expand and travel becomes increasingly accessible to their citizens, we are going to see even more growth in travel from these markets than we did in the previous decade. As the college aged populations of these countries begin their own careers, we will see increases in travel from this demographic as well.
If the trend of buying ‘experiences’ as opposed to ‘stuff’ continues, we will see increases in aviation needs as people travel to the locations offering the most popular experiences. Space travel will likely become one of these experiences as well.
As we learned during the pandemic, many jobs can be done from home. Business meetings can be done virtually, as many of us were forced to familiarize ourselves with various programs such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. This could have a lasting impact on business travel, if we see businesses decide to cut costs on air travel in lieu of virtual meetings with clients.
Despite slowing fertility rates in many parts of the globe, the population is still expected to move on its growth trajectory towards 9+ billion people by 2050. A larger population will require more planes, more airports, and more industry experts to support it- benefiting the aviation industry at every level.
A major goal for the years to come will be to make air travel more accessible to the currently underserved areas of the world, in areas such as central Africa and many parts of India. Providing access to these areas, in conjunction with economic growth in these areas, will result in increased aviation needs.
We live in robust and fast-moving times, where technological advances are made daily. The world is changing and aviation is positioned to be a fundamental part of that change. To do this though, the aviation industry will need to continue being a leader in innovation and not be hampered by the past. If there is one industry that embodies resilience and perseverance, it’s aviation. The success of the aviation industry is fundamental in our interconnected world.
AeroVision is proud to serve this robust industry and is your regional aviation specialist. Serving clients around the world, with aircraft sales and leasing, aircraft parts, and the sale of engines and engine components. AeroVision employs knowledgeable industry experts that provide real-time customer service during business hours and an inside/outside sales team that builds ongoing relationships through customer site visits, trade shows, conferences and customer appreciation events. Headquartered in Muskegon, Michigan (USA), AeroVision has offices and warehouses in the U.S. and the U.K. This international reach is foundational to providing the excellent service our global marketplace of customers and suppliers have come to expect. Contact us today for more information about how we can serve you and your aviation needs.