The aircraft turbine engine market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period.
- The demand for aircraft engines is driven primarily by either an increase in the order book of aircraft (business jet, commercial or military aircraft) or as a replacement for the engines for the existing aircraft fleet.
- Aircraft OEMs and engine manufacturers are engaging in extensive integration efforts to enhance performance and extend the range of aircraft. The investments towards the R&D of such technologies is anticipated to bolster the market prospects during the forecast period.
- Since the modern-day airlines operate on a merged profit model, the profit margins are relatively low. This scenario makes it challenging for operators to procure a new fleet and pay significant amounts of cash to complete the transaction. However, due to the emerging dynamics of aircraft and engine leasing business, airlines have access to the comfort of opting for lease agreements from aircraft financing entities, providing financial relief to airlines and granting them temporary access to increased capacity.
- The manufacturing cycle of the aircraft engine OEMs is expected to undergo rapid transformation due to the increasing use of 3D printing and ceramic matrix composites to construct critical components of an aircraft engine. Furthermore, emerging technologies such as a hybrid-electric jet engine are anticipated to enhance the current business opportunities for the market players.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Procurement of Newer Generation Aircraft Driving Engine Sales
The air passenger traffic has increased at a rapid pace over the past decade and is expected to double by 2037. This year-over-year increase in air traffic can be sustained only if airline operators procure new aircraft to cater to the increased demand. Major aircraft OEMs have initiated revamping their existing production facilities to ensure the scheduled deliveries. For example, in September 2017, Airbus inaugurated its final assembly line in Tianjin, China – a site designed based on the A320 family FAL located in Hamburg, Germany. The facility is charged with performing completion activities on A330, which uses the Trent 700 engine for propulsion. Currently, Airbus has been focusing on the enhancement of its A320neo series aircraft. The new A321neo aircraft, which is a narrow-body version of an A320 and powered by the CFM LEAP-A twin-engine configuration, is believed to be about 15% more fuel-efficient than its predecessors. The increased efficiency, coupled with reduced noise generation, has been driving the procurement of the A320neo aircraft and its successors. The staggering number of orders placed by airlines, such as AirAsia (404), Lufthansa (171), and Virgin America (30) for the A320 series aircraft, is evidence that the increasing order books for the newer generation of fuel-efficient aircraft will remain a major driver for the aircraft turbine engine market during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
The ongoing success of the LCC model has contributed to steady growth in the passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific. It has also created significant opportunities for the growth of aircraft and engine manufacturers in the region by stimulating various companies to invest in aircraft manufacturing activities. The rise in demand for newer and improved versions of aircraft has resulted in a simultaneous requirement for aircraft gas turbine engines. Numerous airline operators are trying to collaborate with engine OEMs to receive superior MRO and after services. Airbus has already realized the potential of the MRO market and has put in efforts to accelerate its presence in Asia-Pacific through acquisitions, joint ventures (JVs), and partnerships. It acquired Sepang Aircraft Engineering in Malaysia in October 2017 and had recently opened a second hangar to cater to the growing demand. The facility is also equipped with an eco-friendly paint hangar. In June 2017, GE Aviation signed a contract worth USD 5.58 billion with VietJet Aviation for the procurement of 20 engines produced by CFM International and a 12-year engine service agreement for the carrier's in-service 215 LEAP-1B engines. Likewise, China has been making huge investments in aerospace manufacturing. Following the successful launch of COMAC C919 narrow-body aircraft in May 2017, COMAC has plans of investing in the development of a long-range wide-body aircraft and has, therefore, entered into a collaboration agreement with United Aircraft Corporation. International engine suppliers will be required to maintain an adequate supply of engines and associated components as these developments will promote the regional market during the forecast period.
The aircraft turbine engine market is characterized by the presence of many global vendors. The market is highly competitive with all the players competing to gain the largest market share. Grounding of fleets due to technical issues, high production costs and delay in engine deliveries, and fluctuations in customs and import duties are the key factors posing a threat to the growth of the market. Vendors must provide advanced and high-quality gas turbine engines to survive and succeed in the intensely competitive market environment. In-house manufacturing capabilities, global footprint network, product offerings, R&D investments, and a strong client base are the key areas to have the edge over competitors. CFM International, General Electric Company, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce plc, and Safran SA are five major companies in the market, which compete in terms of availability, quality, price, and technology. Improving global economic conditions are expected to fuel the market growth during the forecast period, thereby making it an ideal time to adopt new-generation aircraft and engines. The competitive environment in the market is likely to intensify further due to an increase in product and service extensions, technological innovations, and mergers and acquisitions.
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