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Aviation Services market recovery to pre-pandemic levels in 2023: Airbus

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The top aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, expects the services market to recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 and to double in value over the next 20 years - from $95bn today to over $230bn in 2041, according to its latest Global Services Forecast (GSF).

As a result, the number of people working in aviation services, keeping the world's fleets flying on a daily basis, is set to increase by a further two million.“Every day millions of people in services, hidden champions behind the scenes, keep our global fleet of aircraft flying. Alone the number of pilots, cabin crews, and maintenance specialists is set to grow by a further two million by 2041”, says Philippe Mhun, Airbus EVP Programmes, and Services.

“Accelerated digitalization of operations and maintenance as well as a higher proportion of latest generation aircraft in service will lead to a massive requirement for new skills and job creation, leveraging new tools and ways of working in order to further increase our sector’s efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and emissions.” A compounded annual growth rate of 3.7 percent, will lead to a doubling in the value of the services market in the next two decades with a bigger than-ever demand for highly skilled labor: 585,000 new pilots, 640,000 new technicians, and 875,000 new cabin crews.

As operators focus more on their core business, services to improve aircraft availability and efficiency will increasingly be outsourced, boosting the market for those providers. These services will be driven by sustainability and enabled by digitalization, connectivity, and innovation, to maximize efficiency in support of CO2 net zero ambitions.

Mhun concludes: “The GSF confirms our strategy and we are ready. Customer experience is our priority. Customer value will be underpinned by excellence in sustainable services and new energy transition, fully leveraging our Airbus Skywise digital capabilities. Aviation services will remain one of the most advanced and international industries, keeping our customers and society at large at the heart of our operations.” Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced passenger data for August 2022 showing continued momentum in the air travel recovery.

Total traffic in August 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was up 67.7 percent compared to August 2021. Globally, traffic is now at 73.7 percent of pre-crisis levels.

Domestic traffic for August 2022 was up 26.5 percent compared to the year-ago period. Total August 2022 domestic traffic was at 85.4 percent of the August 2019 level.

International traffic rose 115.6% versus August 2021 with airlines in Asia delivering the strongest year-over-year growth rates. August 2022 international RPKs reached 67.4 percent of August 2019 levels.

“The Northern Hemisphere peak summer travel season finished on a high note. Considering the prevailing economic uncertainties, travel demand is progressing well. And the removal or easing of travel restrictions at some key Asian destinations, including Japan, will certainly accelerate the recovery in Asia. Mainland of China is the last major market retaining severe Covid-19 entry restrictions,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

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