The aircraft tugs market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 8% during the forecast period.
- Increasing fleet size to cater to the growing passenger traffic is generating demand for advanced airport ground handling vehicles and equipment. As aircraft tugs play an important role in pushing and towing the aircraft in hangar, ramp, and terminal areas at the airport, ground handlers are significantly investing in advanced tugs to enhance their ground operations.
- The introduction of new technologies such as remotely operated pushback tugs offers safe and efficient management of an airport.
- Construction of new airports will offer opportunities for the aircraft tug manufacturers to increase their global presence.
Key Market Trends
Electric Segment is Anticipated to Register the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period
Electric tugs have increased reliability and are easy-to-handle compared to conventional diesel or gas tugs. Also, the growing concern over airport emission levels, have diverted the focus of airlines towards the use of electric-powered ground vehicles. Earlier in August 2017, British Airways introduced remote-controlled devices to push back aircraft. Initially, five tugs were employed across 25 stands at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport. The tugs were manufactured by Mototok. Heathrow Airport also plans to introduce more electric and hybrid ground vehicles with new charging stations in the coming years. Similar approaches are also being taken by several other airports globally to reduce the airport emission from ground support vehicles. In 2018, Fraport AG and Lufthansa joined forces to test a remote-controlled aircraft tug. The Mototok Spacer 8600 used for testing is designed for use with the entire A320 family and the Boeing 737aircraft. Such projects will be crucial and will pave the way for airports and airlines to enhance ground handling services in the future.
Asia-Pacific is Expected to be the most Lucrative Market for Aircraft Tugs During the Forecast Period
Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to register the highest growth in the next few years, primarily due to the major investments by governments in China and India towards increasing the number of airports. The fast-growing population of the region and increasing air traffic is pushing the growth of the airline industry in the region. The increasing number of airports and the increasing demand for new aircraft ground support vehicles is expected to significantly increase the demand for aircraft tugs in the region. China's aviation industry is growing at a steady rate and the government plans to add over 200 new airports over the next decade. In 2018, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the airports in China handled over 1.26 billion passengers, an increase of about 10.2% compared to 2017. The Chinese government also plans to expand the existing airports to make them capable of handling a higher number of passengers in the coming years. Likewise, the Indian government also plans to construct 100 new airports over the next two decades. As of October 2019, New Delhi Airport in India plans to deploy the semi-robotic Taxibot aircraft tow vehicle in the coming months. The airport plans to deploy about 15 Taxibots in the next four years.
The aircraft tugs market is highly fragmented with several major players. Some of the prominent players in the market are Textron Inc. (Ground Support Equipment Inc.), Tinka Resources Limited (TLD) , TREPEL Airport Equipment GmbH, Tronair, Inc., and John Bean Technologies Corp. Airlines and ground vehicle manufacturers work closely in developing new advanced vehicles that can improve the ground operation, require lesser maintenance, enhance driver comfort, and emit less pollution. Also, manufacturers are trying to expand their product portfolio with new vehicles with different driveline capacity to cater to the demands of different airlines.
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