Aviation has long been glamorous, but for some players in the value chain, it has also often proved to be unprofitable. Despite current headwinds, aviation has arguably experienced a golden age: a phase of relatively profitable growth, driven especially by commercial passengers in developing markets.
Major disruption is promised by a range of powerful new technologies and public pressure. Players that turn these trends to their advantage have the opportunity to reshape the industry. In this piece, we evaluate the potential for alternative energy sources, maintenance robotics, and the return of supersonic. We do this through the lens of five (5) key player types.
Aviation has long been glamorous, but for some players in the value chain, it has also often proved to be unprofitable. Despite current headwinds, aviation has arguably experienced a golden age: a phase of relatively profitable growth, driven especially by commercial passengers in developing markets. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts that global passenger numbers will almost double by 2037, reaching 8.2 billion annually.1 To match that demand, the aviation industry is continuing to raise output to historic highs. In July 2018, Airbus announced that over 37,000 new aircraft – valued at $5.8 trillion – are required over 20 years.2 With regular retirement of older fleet, that equates to a doubling of the world’s passenger fleet to more than 48,000 aircraft. Operators continue to come and go, but the scaling of profitable models since the 1990s has sustained longer than many would have predicted. Likewise, aviation finance has grown with fleet scale, dozens of specialist lessors now serve a distinct and global need. Elsewhere in KPMG’s Mobility 2030 series,3 we have looked at changes affecting ground transport, and in ‘Getting Mobility off the ground’4 we considered air-based disruption in short-distance travel. In KPMG’s annual Aviation Industry Leaders Report,5 we look at the ‘traditional’ aviation industry’s topical issues. In this paper, we focus on select issues for traditional aviation, with that longer-term 2030 lens. In particular, we consider the disruption potential related to developments in:
• Alternative energy sources
• Maintenance robotics
• Supersonic engineering
We do this through the lens of:
• OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)
• MROs (Maintenance, repair and overhaul (organizations)
As leading advisors to the global aviation sector, KPMG professionals present a vision of the aviation landscape in 2030 and beyond.
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