Sky High Economics - Chapter Two: Evaluating the Economic Benefits of Connected Airline Operations


June 2018

Sky High Economics - Chapter 2

The airline industry is experiencing a period of exceptional growth, with IATA forecasting a doubling of passenger numbers by 2035. Leading aircraft manufacturers are forecasting significant increases in aircraft deliveries over the same period. Growth also brings challenges however: continued expansion and intense competition have set new expectations for value, constraining operating margins in the process. Increased traffic also results in additional fuel burn and has an environmental impact. Without a reassessment of technology and infrastructure, the challenge remains how the industry, and the finite airspace it relies on, can accommodate the growth predicted.

This is also a time of significant change in the air transport industry. The digital transformation observed in many terrestrial markets over the past decade is migrating skywards, creating wide-ranging opportunities but requiring closer collaboration and transformation in the aircraft’s ecosystem. The rise of the ‘connected aircraft’, facilitated by satellite communications and integrated with the Internet of Things (IoT), is initiating a data revolution. The aircraft is no longer an isolated unit, but has become an IP-enabled node in a wider digital framework. This new operating environment is bringing increased visibility to the flight crew, ground crews, airline operational control, air traffic management and an emerging network of supporting service providers.

The Sky High Economics study is the first of its kind to comprehensively model the economic impact of inflight connectivity on the aviation industry. Following the first instalment, Quantifying the Commercial Opportunities of Passenger Connectivity for the Global Airline Industry, which focused on revenue potential, this second report shines new light on the cost benefits of inflight connectivity. Specifically, how secure, high-quality connectivity services can also deliver powerful commercial efficiencies for airline operations, with resulting advantages for safety and environmental impact. It demonstrates multi-tiered benefits across fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, aircraft performance and maintenance, risk mitigation, on-time arrivals and departures, airspace management and improved fleet utilisation.


Read also

Sky High Economics - Chapter One: Quantifying the commercial opportunities of passenger connectivity for the global airline industry
September 2017


Impact / Media Coverage

UK media

APEX - "LSE Predicts Connected Aircraft Will Save Aviation Industry $14.9 Billion Annually"
20 June 2018


International media

Forbes - "New Technology May Help Airlines Cut Fuel Use And Travel Time"
20 July 2018

Bangkok Post - "Sky-high WiFi set to go far and wide"
27 June 2018

Saudi Gazette - "Connected aircraft to save aviation industry $15bn per year"
20 June 2018

Zeit Online (Germany) - "Über den Wolken online - Internet im Flugzeug"
20 June 2018

Zawya - "Connected aircraft to save aviation industry $15bln per year and 21.3mln tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2035"
19 June 2018


Industry publications (UK)

Get Connected - "Inmarsat and ESA complete major Iris ATM milestone"
19 July 2018

AIR Airport Industry Review - "The Briefing on Connected Aviation"
2 July 2018

Aerospace Technology - "Research finds connected aircraft can help airlines save $15bn a year"
20 June 2018

ADS Advance - "Connected aircraft set to reduce costs and emissions"
19 June 2018

Get Connected - "Connected aircraft to save aviation industry $15bn per year"
19 June 2018


Industry publications (international)

TravelNewsAsia - "SITAOnAir’s EFB Weather Awareness Solution Certified by Inmarsat"
14 August 2018

Aero News Network - "SITAONAIR Pilot Weather Solution Certified By Inmarsat Will Deliver Real-Time Weather Information On SB-S Platform"
14 August 2018

ITU News - "How satellite broadband can be a game-changer for connected planes"
13 August 2018

Intelligent Aerospace - "Inmarsat, ESA perform first flight test under Iris air traffic management program"
20 July 2018

Panrotas (Brazil) - "Aéreas podem economizar US$ 15 bilhões com melhor wi-fi"
2 July 2018

Aero Telegraph (Switzerland) - "So können Airlines durch Satelliten-Internet sparen"
27 June 2018

Connected Aviation Today - "Sky High Economics Report: 3 Ways the Connected Aircraft Can Save Airlines $15B Annually"
21 June 2018

Tnooz - "The aviation industry could save $15 billion a year through connected aircraft"
21 June 2018

ITP.net - "Connected aircraft could save $15 billion per year"
20 June 2018

CAPA - "Inmarsat/LSE: The connected aircraft offers airline industry USD15bn p/a in savings by 2035"
20 June 2018

Arabian Aerospace - "The hot spot"
14 June 2018

Future Travel Experience - "Report: Connected aircraft could save aviation industry $15bn per year"
1 June 2018