The market for commercial flight training and simulation has experienced significant ups and downs over the past five years, but it is expected to witness steady, limited growth in the future. Growth is effectively limited to Asia Pacific (APAC) and Middle Eastern airlines. Civil aviation authorities are increasing training requirements, especially as older and more experienced pilots retire. An aging pilot force creates demand for new pilots to replace the older ones.
Economic problems are significantly affecting the airlines and the situation is likely to improve to a modest degree. Airlines have been buffeted by the global economic meltdown and the escalating cost of fuel. The business aviation market has experienced a similar retraction. The net result is a heavy impact on the training and simulation market, which depends largely on these two sectors.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (aerospace.frost.com), Analysis of the Commercial Flight Training and Simulation Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $3.3 billion in 2010 and estimates this to reach $3.68 billion by 2015.
"The hike in prices of fuel will steer the gravitation toward more fuel efficient aircraft, and consequently drive the need for simulators configured for these aircraft types," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Wayne Plucker. "The Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 that are in the pipeline promise 20 percent more fuel efficiency, and airlines are expected to opt for these aircraft to cut operating costs."
Airlines' chronic lack of sustained profitability restricts training budgets, resulting in funding only for required recurrent training. The airlines exist in a "feast or famine" environment. During the past ten years, they have earned record profits twice and endured record losses twice. Airlines had traditionally rolled all their expenses into their ticket prices. In pursuit of a positive cash flow, they now add fuel surcharges, baggage fees, seat selection fees, and several others. They have cut meals and most other services. Fleet availability and costs of operation restrict live in-flight training to the absolutely necessary flights.
"Simulators will become increasingly sophisticated and technically advanced," says Wayne Plucker. "This will raise cost per simulator and reduce the number of new simulators purchased."
Airlines will be reluctant to purchase new simulators and they will operate their existing simulators continuously, with limited downtime for maintenance.
Interest in becoming a pilot will continue to be lower than in the past, resulting in reduced initial training pilot numbers and revenue. Keeping up with new curriculum requirements will drive up the cost of both initial and recurring training.
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Analysis of the Commercial Flight Training and Simulation Market is part of the Aerospace Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: U.S. Airport Travel Experience, World Commercial Avionics Market, Analysis of Aerospace Manufacturing Market and Emerging Supply Chain Dynamics, Asia Pacific Airport Security Market Assessment, Global Aircraft Avionics Programs: Revenue Opportunities and Stakeholder Mapping, among others. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Analysis of the Commercial Flight Training and Simulation Market / N884