Aircraft leasing company, Avolon, has made six predictions for the recovery of the airline business, calling them ‘Six Fearless Forecasts’.
Jim Morrison, Head of Portfolio Management at Avolon, said, “Commercial aviation has demonstrated its resilience repeatedly. It has managed through wars, terrorism, pandemics, oil spikes, and financial crises.
“Our fearless forecasts for 2021 published today are premised on this optimism but anchored by the realism that challenging months are ahead.”
Avolon’s 2021 Fearless Forecasts
1 Recovery will be quicker than currently anticipated: Three forces will drive recovery in 2021: vaccines, fiscal stimulus, and monetary easing. Passengers will fly more than the 50% of 2019 RPKs that IATA currently projects in 2021.
2 Major airlines survive, LCCs thrive: Government support has assured survival for most flag carriers, but low-cost carriers are best positioned in most markets to thrive as the recovery takes shape.
3 There will be more start-up airlines in 2021 than failures in 2020: Not all will get off the ground but some of the highest growth airlines in the next decade will get their start this year and next, following the airline playbook of past downturns.
4 Two-thirds of new passenger aircraft deliveries will be financed by lessors: The airline funding gap will be closed through lessor placements and sale leasebacks. A structural shift in airline balance sheets is underway that will lead to continued growth of leasing.
5 A decade without a new, clean-sheetmaircraft. Competitive dynamics between the manufacturers have changed. With no new programmes to obsolete existing types, aircraft residual values will be protected in the long-term.
6 The environment re-surfaces as the major challenge of the decade. Disruptive technology will play a key role in reducing aviation’s carbon footprint, but the power of incremental improvement must not be overlooked. Lessors accelerate technology adoption. Air traffic management systems must be modernised, sustainable aviation fuels must build scale and new technologies must be developed. This is a global challenge in which all stakeholders will contribute to the solutions.
The forecasts are contained in an Avolon outlook paper titled ‘Looking to Recovery’, available to download here