Our aviation team manages all aviation investments for Dr. Peters Group and our customers. For professional asset management in aviation, we have our own team of in-house aircraft engineers who continuously monitor the condition of the aircraft with an expert eye, ensuring that they are airworthy and retain their value.
Following the setbacks caused by the pandemic, the aviation industry once again looks to the future with optimism. This is also reflected in the turn-of-the-year 2021/2022 surveys by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The vast majority of managers expect that 2022 will see steeply rising demand in both the passenger and the cargo businesses. European aircraft manufacturer Airbus likewise anticipates a return to strong growth, with passenger numbers increasing by 3.9% a year through to 2040.
The airline industry was able to recover in 2021, but traffic volumes remained below the pre-crisis, 2019 levels due to the travel restrictions.
Specifically, revenue passenger-kilometres (RPKs) increased 80% in 2021 relative to 2020, but were down 45% on 2019. The load factor, which was reduced in 2021 due to the pandemic, stood at approximately 72%. Following the slow start after the turn of the year, IATA expects rapidly rising bookings from the second quarter of 2022.
However, it is currently hard to predict how the war in Ukraine will affect the global aviation market. What is certain is that flight bans over large areas of airspace lead to costly rerouting. Even today, airlines can no longer economically serve some routes, such as Finland-Asia. A number of regions are closed to international air travel for departures or landings.
The sharp rise in jet fuel prices also adds significantly to airline operating costs.
In addition, global uncertainty, especially if prolonged, may curb people’s appetite for travel – particularly for tourist travel to or from Europe – which in turn could negatively impact airlines’ fleet decisions.
Air freight traffic grew particularly strongly in 2021. Cargo performance was up nearly 19% on 2020. According to IATA, this marked the strongest growth since it began monitoring cargo statistics in 1990. Cargo tonne-kilometres were even 3.5% higher than in 2018, the previous record year. Air cargo benefited substantially during the pandemic from capacity shortages on intercontinental routes.