Monday Insight – September 23, 2019

Cuba Air Service…

For US Carriers, An Investment Pending Political Change, Or Just A Financial Venus Flytrap?

Just in from Havana…

… Fuel rationing has now become full-blown fuel shortages…

… Basic foodstuffs still tightly rationed…

… Belt-tightening in all areas predicted by the government…

… Electric blackouts now predicted

Well, it is a unique destination. Let’s face it. There isn’t another destination in the Western Hemisphere where you can see all that with one simple ticket.

Yessir, just the place that’s ripe for air service from the USA, with happy vacationers just hankerin’ to get down to the wonderous resorts where an extra roll of the local version of Charmin is a big deal, and to stroll along the Malecón in quaint Havana, navigating around the lines of Cubans waiting patiently to claim their weekly bar of soap and rice ration.

‘Course, none of these things are new to Cuba over the past 60 years. The latest piñatas to blame are the US embargo, and the fact that equally-challenged Socialist partner Venezuela can’t send free oil, anymore.

And it’s a line of hype that a lot of the US media just repeats without any discussion of the fact that there is very little in the way of Cuba buying oil on the open market. As for the embargo, it’s a US embargo, not a global one. Cuba can buy locomotives from China – which they do. Or cars from South Korea – which they do. Or food from across the planet – which their defunct political system cannot afford.

Their problem is a Socialist system that has trashed the entire nation.

And that’s the reason that the predicted air service tsunami between the USA and Cuba has never been more than a ripple in a polluted pond. And it will remain so for at least for the foreseeable future.

Ten years ago, before the Obama rush to open relations with the Castro folks, Boyd Group International published the first independent analysis of the air service potential between the USA and Cuba. Five years later, in the midst of the euphoria of newly-permitted air service, we updated the report.

In both cases, we concluded that U.S. airlines had far more traffic and revenue potential in expanding to Columbus, Mississippi than just about anywhere in Cuba. (That’s not just hyperbole, either.)

Any market planner who might suggest adding a domestic market with the attributes of the Cuba potential would find himself with a newly limited career path.

When The Opportunity Came – Prudent Planning Said Jump On It. In reality, even with the dismal economic factors, US airlines actually had no choice but to take a chance on Cuba route authority when it was offered.

As we noted in our studies, Cuba represents probably the biggest future market bonanza ever faced by the North American airline industry. When that door to route authorities was opened, getting in., even ahead of a pending a collapse of the Socialist paradise set up by Fidel Castro, would be an investment in the future.

But now it’s clear this is at least one complete Cuban government change away, and then a few years of cleaning up the economic mess made by the Castro clique.

For the foreseeable future, other than VFR traffic, and a smattering of adventure tourists, (and even there, only to Havana) there isn’t any opportunity for expanding Cuba air service.

The question comes up in regard to whether there are better applications of airline resources than flying to a place where there is near-zero true market growth on the horizon. Yet, once the Cuban government kleptocracy collapses, these route authorities will take on whole new economic potential.

Just a matter of how long.

Copy of Original Airport Quarterly Page


Aviation DataMiner Quarterly Analytics For Airport Professionals

Here’s a hard truth: if you are using any other source of quarterly airport data, you’re probably drawing inaccurate conclusions from incomplete data.

Most sources that sell quarterly reports simply download raw BTS data – which anybody can do for free – and proceed to sort it into a plethora of tables and graphs, and then charge airports exorbitant fees.

They deliver lots of comparisons, maybe, but no real analytical efforts.

Fact: BTS DB1B O&D Data Are Not Complete. So, neither are reports that rely on them exclusively. They miss a lot of information – which is something that many sources of quarterly data probably don’t even know.

A 10% Sample – But Not of All Tickets Sold.  In the purest sense, DB1B data is a set of specific facts extracted from passenger tickets – and what most other sources fail to disclose is that not all tickets used in a quarter are included, just some of them.

Not only that, but it’s further complicated because not all US certificated passenger carriers participate in the sample.

Therefore, the DB1B data other quarterly products rely on are just a 10% sample of less than 100% of all tickets. So those reports are not fully representative of the airline industry.

Aviation DataMiner – Analytics, Instead of Raw Internet Tables. What makes our data better and more accurate is that our advanced Aviation DataMiner system aggregates DB1B information with other  sources of passenger traffic and airline schedules, which results in a more complete database – and a better planning tool for aviation professionals.

Let’s take Shreveport, comparing raw BTS numbers – which other vendors sell after getting downloading them for free – with the fully-reconciled data delivered by the BGI Key Performance Metrics report. The period is full year ending 2Q 2015.

Take a look – in just the top ten metro O&D markets, the raw BTS numbers are over five percent off – in some markets, much more.

This also means that other metrics – such as average fares, yields, trip origination, etc. will also be skewed in the raw and incomplete DB1B data.

The point is that delivering accurate, professional data requires a lot more effort and expertise than just parroting a single federal source.

As with all government data, it’s critical that the reader have a full understanding of what the data represents, how it’s reported, and where the shortfalls are. It’s not for amateurs.

What Sets BGI Ahead: We’re An Aviation Data Company. Boyd Group International is focused as a data and research company. Most of the other sources of “quarterlies” just pull raw – and partial – data off the internet, and pass it off as-is.

Key Performance Metrics – Instead of Pages of Numbers

Volumes of tables and lists are not a planning tool.

The reports in the Key Performance Metrics deliver a wide swath of important analytical insights relating to the airport. For example, here’s what is included with the report on top markets. It’s been split into two sections to fit, by the way…

Okay. Time To Take A Closer Look.

We’ve done a short tour of Key Performance Metrics. Just click here to take a look.

Then, fill out the form below – or just send us an e-mail – and we can start your subscription right away.

If you’re subscribing to another quarterly source, revisit your budget. Even with the superior quality and professionalism of the Boyd Group International Key Performance Metrics, you’ll have several thousand dollars left at the end of the year. Some other sources charge $8,000 or more for what’s essentially public – and not entirely complete – information.

Key Performance Metrics is just $4,450 for a year’s subscription – and that includes a short term forecast every quarter included.

Oh, and by the way… you may want to consider an on-line subscription to Aviation DataMiner, too. It gives enormous analytical access to all airport metrics, as well as schedules and hundreds of reports.

Monday Insight – September 16, 2019

Before We Start This Week… 

More Great Coverage of the 2019 IAFS

We want to thank Anna Aero for their great coverage of the International Aviation Forecast Summit, with a discussion of the insightful sessions from start on Monday morning to the wrap-up on Tuesday afternoon.

Click here for the concise discussion of the complete event. And for our attendees, copies of most of the presentations are available now on the Summit app.

All of us at Boyd Group International want to again thank our sponsors, including Platinum partners Southwest and United, and the industry executives who joined us to make this year’s IAFS the biggest yet.

And thank you to the industry leaders from across the globe who attended!


Again, Trendy  Fake News

No, There Won’t Be Chaos This Holiday Season Due To MAX Grounding

We were regaled last spring with a few media stories about how the summer of 2019 would be one to remember, with airports across the nation resembling re-enactments of the fall of Saigon, due mostly to the grounding of the 737 MAX.

Yessir… all those thousands of flight “cancellations” were just going to flummox airports across the nation, according to some of the panting stories from the fringes of Fourth Estate. Bet on it… people sleeping on airport floors. Children denied the trip to ride Dumbo. Human tragedy galore, with the word “Cancelled” popping up on A&D boards at airports large and small.

Oops. Rewind. Actually, there were more flights and more seats than last year.

A little research would have helped.

Facts Can Be Such A Downer, Sometimes. Summer’s over. Nothing happened outside of the usual. True, there were some poorly-researched stories implying that consumers were bumped by the bazillions due, supposedly, to the cut in seats due to the grounding. Statistical noise.

Bad News For Thanksgiving Travel? Maybe For The Turkey, Not Airports. Now, the latest group-think trend in a few newsrooms seems to be predicting airport chaos over the Thanksgiving holiday period, again due to the thousands of flight “cancellations” caused by the MAX issue.

Again, “monkey-hear, monkey-report” seems to be still in vogue in some sectors, with the usual suspects filing panting stories about how a lot of folks won’t be able to get to savor grandma’s apple pie this November, all due to these nasty cancellations.

Here’s a load of reality to rain on their parades… we looked at the domestic schedules filed by airlines for the period 22 November through 2 December – the general Thanksgiving travel times – for both this year and last year.

These data reflect schedule adjustments due to the MAX situation. Funny, the airline industry didn’t get the memo.

There will be 5.1% more departures and almost5% more seats this year than last. That’s higher than the current 2019 growth rate, which is just 4.0%. Cancel the code red for the holidays.

American, sans MAX fleet, will deliver 7.6% more departing seats than last year. United, up 2.8%. Even Southwest – which, unlike AA and United has no access to net new additional aircraft – is up slightly. (An example of the situation is United, which just last week added two more A319s that came off lease at China Southern. For them and for American, they are adding aircraft, MAX notwithstanding.)

Actually, the only carrier that will be delivering fewer seats to the gate during this period is Delta – which isn’t affected by the MAX issue.

Again… there are dozens of top-rate journalists covering the aviation industry. We had over 20 attending the recent International Aviation Forecast Summit.

But there’s also a few amateurs that really need to find another career.

In any case, other than weather issues, there won’t be much drama at airports this season.

Monday Insight – September 9, 2019

The International Aviation Forecast Summit

Setting The Pace As the #1 Industry Forecast Event!

As hundreds of regular attendees will attest, the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit is the one event that delivers data, perspectives and forecasts that gives them the competitive edge.

And 2019 raised the bar even further. We’ve posted a summary and lots of pictures on the Summit site (click below) – and our attendees can now pull down many of the presentations on the Summit app, including the Airports:USA enplanement forecasts and those delivered by IATA and A4A.

Our Thanks To All. We want to again thank all the participants and attendees that made this year’s IAFS a hge success.

This includes all of our sponsors and exhibitors, particularly our Platinum Sponsor Partners, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

For a review of the exciting areas explored with aviation thought-leaders, and pictures of the 2019 IAFS, click here.

Venue Selection 2020. We are now reviewing a number of potential candidate locations for next year, and will likely be announcing the winner after the first of the year.

The IAFS has also proven to deliver high profile for our host venues, including new conference business from attendee companies. Our 2015 Summit in LAS, for example, delivered earned media for the city approximating $2.8 million, and social media reach of 35.4 million. Other venues have seen repeat conference business from aircraft suppliers, directly due to the exposure generated at the IAFS.

We are honored for the attendance and support of the IAFS from across the industry and across the globe, and we’re planning an even more exciting event in 2020!

Monday Insight – September 2, 2019

US Labor Day Holiday…

The weekly update – and exciting information and data from the 24th Annual International Aviation Forecast Summit – will be posted next Monday, September 9, 2019…

In addition to the enormous insights from the airline and aviation CEOs, we’ll be covering:

How $3-power per hour electric aircraft may totally change pilot training…

An outline of America’s airport system advantages in the global economy… elsewhere, they certainly have impressive and important airports at Beijing and Istanbul and Singapore. But we have Worland, Wyoming – and 3,500 more

How rural and isolated airports will become a contradiction in terms

How US enplanements will grow almost 33% by 2029…

The long-term fleet views from Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Boom.

And a lot more!.

In the meantime, click here to take a look at the opening video of the 2019 IAFS – it will give an idea of the scope and direction of this year’s event.

Monday Insight – August 19, 2019

Some Contrarian & Futurist Issues To Consider

Aviation Ten Years From Now – Get Ready

Next week, the top thought leaders in aviation will be gathered in Las Vegas at the 24th Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit.

We want to acknowledge all of our sponsors and exhibitors, and especially our Platinum sponsors United and Southwest.

Exploring A Very Disruptive Future

Unlike other events, this is a gathering of not just people, but of ideas, vision and new perspectives. Airline and industry CEOs and executives from across the industry will be with us, exploring what they see in the future.

Just of thought-starters, let’s touch on some of the foundational issues we’ll be dealing with at the Summit.

Aviation’s Evolving Role in Global, Intercontinental and Regional Communication.

Today, the speed and depth of new communication channels have changed how we live, do business, and even how we approach day-to-day business.

The “pipelines” are now nearly instantaneous… email, messaging, transmission of data, information exchange, and – critically – ideas and visioning. These have completely changed how people are making decisions, planning new dimensions, and moving the world ahead.

But 0ne channel of communication that’s not changed much in terms of speed is air travel. Airplanes are no faster than in 1980, or 1970, for that matter.

Think about it… in the 1980s, there was a lot more need for physical, face to face interaction to exchange ideas and data, i.e., a need to go and do a face-to-face.

Now, these new channels of information flow have made a lot of that unnecessary.

Think about it. Aviation has now a fundamentally different role as a communication channel… not a declining one, but other modalities of human exchange are today a lot faster and a lot more efficient.

Yet, millions of dollars are spent every year on programs aimed at desperately bringing back the air transportation system that existed in a world without these new pipelines.

Think about it.

Then consider how aviation’s new role will evolve in the future.

The industry leaders at the IAFS™ will be exploring aspects of this next week in Las Vegas.

Global Interaction & Trade – It’s Fixin’ To Move Here. Soon.

We’ve mentioned it before.

All the hand-wringing and finger-pointing and angst often expressed regarding how America’s airport system has fallen behind the rest of the world are nonsense.

Yes, they are trendy and accepted as fact, but in the context of the global future, quite ignorant. Just fake news.

Like we noted above, the role of aviation as a communication channel is evolving – but that doesn’t mean declining.

In the new global system, we’re going to see massive changes in manufacturing, distribution, and logistics. Wrenching changes for some areas of the world, but for the United States, we’re in the right place at the right epoch.

Hint: With “cheap labor” being replaced by more efficient robotics, the manufacturing playing field between Shenzhen and Spokane will be leveled.

Hint: think new aviation modalities – think drone.

Time is money, and time from production to consumption will move to the forefront of priorities. Those low labor cost goods in Asia need to be shipped to a port, trans-loaded onto a boat, travel 20 days or more to the Port of Los Angeles, then wait another three days to get put on a container train and finally a truck to a distribution center in Lubbock.

Futurist concept in light of all this: aviation and America’s already in-place system of 4,000 airports will be a huge part of the new world of manufacturing and logistics. One that has value no other nation can touch.

Think about it… or, better, join us at the IAFS™ where aviation thought leaders will be discussing the industry changes that will be contributing to these new dynamics.

Air Service Trends – The Crunch Is Over

In the past two weeks, yet another dozen 50-seat jets have been retired from US fleets.

A lot of ambient thinking is that this is just more bad news for small community air service.

It’s actually positive. The “bad news” for small community air service – such as it may have been – is long past. Mainly, it’s part of a trend toward larger airliners.

We’ll be covering at the IAFS™ how not only larger aircraft will be replacing these retirements, but how just about any Part 139 airport at least has the foundation to look for impulse-based air service – i.e., the ULCC model.

At the International Aviation Forecast Summit next week, this will be a part of the Airports:USA® forecast session. Along with discussion of other trends, too, such as the internationalization of the interior of the USA.

The China Issue – Opportunities

Amid the smoke of battle surrounding the “trade war” with China, one key reality is often missed: the trade and interaction between the USA and China is not going away.

Lightweights who wouldn’t know China from a cheap set of Melmac are making political hay, decrying how the “trade war” is decimating Chinese investment in the USA. And how, for the first time in 15 years, Chinese tourism is declining – a travel sector that has delivered billions to US venues.

Veneer ignorance.

What they’re missing are a whole passel of growing pain issues in the Chinese economy that are driving these changes. Things that make the effects of the “trade war” get shuffled toward the bottom of the in-box:

Like the RMB-US$ exchange rate. Like the deflation of the discretionary income generated by the now-declining real estate bubble in China. Like the Chinese government tightening capital outflows. Like a banking system in the process of being re-structured. Like industries in parts of China going rust-belt. Like the financial bill hitting some cities across China that have built real estate developments that have produced huge apartment regions with no tenants. It goes on…

As for the decline in Chinese investment in the USA, these and other reasons are the direct cause of declining investment and leisure visitation. But in the last ten years alone, nearly $150 billion in FDI has come to the US from China. And it’s still here.

Point: it’s important that US communities and business don’t get economically sucker-punched into thinking that Chinese business relationships were just a passing fad. Continued preparation for outreach with China is more important now than ever.

Take it to the bank (a US bank, by all means) Chinese trade and business will eclipse the effects of efforts to level the trade system.

Where Else Are China Southern or Xiamen Airlines Planning To Land In The USA? And, we’ll be covering this at the IAFS™ – with a workshop from Tencent, China’s $400 billion travel and related company. Plus, our Airports:China™ session that will look at which US airports and communities will be first in line for new access from China.

Airport facilities will be a critical part of a nation’s ability to compete in regard to accommodating the coming changes in global trade.


In addition to the aviation leaders who will be participating at the International Aviation Forecast Summit, we’re excited to also welcome over 60 airline staff from carriers across the industry.

Making new contacts and laying the ground work for future liaison with staff from Southwest, Spirit, Allegiant, American, United, Delta, and more, will be a part of the IAFS™. Plus, it will be in a business environment far more conducive than 20-minute speed date events.

Welcome To Las Vegas!

Our hosts, the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority and McCarran International Airport have gone all out to welcome attendees at the IAFS™.  While in Las Vegas, be sure to take advantage of the great leisure opportunities the city offers.

Still Time To Join Us!

While this is now the most-attended IAFS™, Las Vegas is a venue that has lots of room… so, if you haven’t registered and can clear your calendar, click here.

We are looking forward to the most exciting and valuable International Aviation Forecast Summit yet!


Monday Insight – August 12, 2019

Disruptive Opportunities In Aviation’s Future

If you’re joining aviation leaders at the International Aviation Forecast Summit, August 25-27, come prepared for some serious  heresy…

The global and industry media will be there, too, so it’s all on the record.

Global Manufacturing & Logistics – New Metrics for US Aviation. Traditional channels of global trade are changing.Fundamentally – in a decade they will barely resemble what we see today.

Hint: the value of time will increasingly be the new metric – replacing labor cost – which is starting to get zapped off the advantage list with expanding robotic manufacturing.

The latent advantages of the US aviation system as a distribution and communication system has been missed entirely.  The assumption is that sweatshops in backward nations have an unshakable lock on manufacturing. Think again. And new aviation channels will be a foundational part of it.

Traffic Growth Profiles Have Shifted: U.S. air traffic, coming off of a 5.5% expansion in 2018, is tracking close to 4% this year, and indications for nearly 3% annually in the next decade. One reason: it’s no longer just “air service.” Airlines are increasing posturing air travel as a discretionary spend. That tosses traditional forecast methodologies into the land fill.

The Fleet Pain Is Over. Most of the downsides attendant to airline fleet shifts – such as the continuing reduction on 50-seat fleets – have already been registered.  The small airport air service issue has been decided already.

New Facilities at Istanbul, Shanghai and Beijing. But We Already Have An Airport at Worland, Wyoming – and over 3,500 more. Don’t laugh. It’s a pertinent point. Reality: the U.S. is today prepared for the new global manufacturing, trade and logistics systems that will emerge in the next decade.  We’re covering it at the IAFS.

New Powerplant Technology – Can Electric Make A Difference? Maybe sooner than we think. Extension cords not required.

New Business Intelligence Channels – New Metrics Needed. The new aviation industry needs new metrics… because it’s a new set of businesses.

And these just cover a  couple of the highlights of the IAFS…

Mind-Challenging Concepts  and Perspectives That Go Beyond Droning Panels

The Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit is just a bit more than a week away. It promises to be the most exciting, innovative, and thought-disruptive in our 24 years of the event.

First, we want to thank all of our sponsors of this year’s IAFS™ including our Platinum Sponsors, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

We want to acknowledge the teams that are participating in the pre-Summit Workshop program on Sunday afternoon. These offer more insight than other conferences in their entirely.

All are exciting, and the Cirium Workshop – What A Difference A Data Makes – will set whole new perspectives in aviation data and planning.

IAFS™ – The Only Event Entirely Focused On The Future

The entire IAFS™ is engineered to illuminate the futurist views of the thought-leaders shaping aviation. It’s all about exploration, based on their views – not pre-canned subject panels that are cookie-cutter sessions at other conferences.

In addition to the incisive views from aviation leaders, there’s a range of forecasts that no other event even gets close to.

Let’s touch on them…

Traffic & Trend Forecasts – We Have The Future Surrounded

First, Airports:USA – these are the only airport forecasts accomplished entirely independently in the private sector. No political interference, and no second-agendas. Most importantly, Airports:USA™ is based on real-world traffic factors, not the methodologies used by the FAA, which were largely founded on the airline industry that existed back when Dwight and Mamie were ensconced at 1600 Pennsylvania. They don’t work today.

We’ll be covering the new drivers of passenger growth – how econometrics alone are not reliable, and how aviation planners can look to the new factors that generate air traffic.

Expect a couple of sacred cows to get barbecued – we’re going to illuminate how a number of traditional traffic-enhancement assumptions – a.k.a. some “air service development” approaches – are now like attempting to get a cadaver ready for a ballroom dance competition.

Key Factor: We’ll be outlining where spikes in growth will take place due to changing global logistics channels, and how the U.S. airport system puts the USA in the crosshairs to benefit. Big time.

New Airport Planning. Contrarian – But Accurate – Thinking. Yes, there are great airports built elsewhere in the world, like the new Istanbul facility, Singapore Changi, Shanghai Pudong’s new 83-gate addition, and the soon to be opened Beijing Daxing International. Big money being invested now – elsewhere in the world. Don’t hear much about what’s going on here… because it’s already happened.

“Other countries are investing in the future, and we’re not!” the pundits announce, typically with the cliché comparison to the old LGA terminal. A wonderful terrarium of closed thinking. Nothing like the safety of group-think.

Here’s a rap-stopper for their next cocktail party. The USA has indeed invested billions in a robust airport system. It’s in place and ready for the new emerging global business environment.

Yup. Airports like Worland, Lynchburg, Merced, Pittsfield, Gaylord, Thief River and Glendive, and 3,500 more such facilities – whether commercially-served or not – are our future global advantage, particularly in light of major, structural and fundamental changes in global manufacturing, trade and logistics, which, again, we’ll discuss at the IAFS.

We’ll be outlining the how’s and whys. One idea: don’t miss the pre-Summit Workshop on the future of drones – they are a key part of the new future.

Yes, this would appear to be lunacy… and it certainly can be called that, within the context of today.

But the Summit is all about the future.

Get your heresy freak on, and join us at the Airports:USA® session.

A4A & IATA At The Summit. And, not to worry, there will be lots of additional forecast perspectives at the IAFS™.

We are honored to have John Heimlich, Chief Economist of Airlines 4 America, with his ten-year forecast. For the international perspective, IATA will have Andrew Matters, Deputy Chief Economist at the Summit.

Then toss in our exclusive Airports:China™ projection of that nation’s traffic at its 200 largest airports, including potential new U.S. gateways to China, and we’re coming at global and domestic forecasts from all sides.

Airline Fleets – Planning For New Air Travel Dimensions

Aviation and global logistics will be affected by the fleets that will be coming into operation in the future.

As usual, we have our friends from Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Boom Supersonic and Rolls-Royce presenting their individual perspectives of the future fleets and operating systems we’ll be seeing in the next ten years.

But this year, we’re excited to have two more dimensions added.

Electric... On the smaller end – Bye Aerospace will present the future and the opportunities of electric aircraft. Battery technology is making huge strides.

Hypersonic – On the more futurist end – Hermeus Hypersonic will be at the Summit to outline the potential for travel at 5X the speed of sound. For military applications, this concept barely gets any notice. But for passenger air travel, well, people just roll their eyes.  AJ Piplica,  founder of Hermeus,will probably have some visions that no other aviation event can get close to.

Fuel Forecast – It’s More Than Just Supply & Demand

This year again we welcome Mr. Ben Brockwell, Director of Oil Price Information Services, to discuss the dynamics that will determine what airlines will be paying for fuel. It’s more than just the price of the stuff coming out of the ground… it has to do with other demands on middle distillates, the current and expected shifts in regional usage, changes in refinery capacity, and a lot more.

Networking? Bring Lots of Business Cards

Aviation leaders from across the industry and the world will be at the Summit. It’s the people that will be making the future happening.

Plus, in addition to the CEOs and senior executives from carriers across the globe, there will be over 60 attendees from airlines such as Southwest, American, Delta, Spirit, and many more. So, get ready to network at breaks and the exiting receptions on Sunday and Monday evenings.

Finally, The Fourth Estate, Covering The IAFS

The IAFS is a globally-respected aviation forecast event.

So, it’s actively covered by global media, including outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg, CNBC, CBS, and professionals in print and electronic channels across the aviation spectrum. This year, Peter Greenburg will be holding his Worldwide CBS travel show, with recorded broadcasts from the IAFS.

Lots More, Too

If you haven’t registered, click here and plan on being at the Wynn/Encore August 25-27.

We look forward to seeing you and discussing the future!



Monday Insight – August 5, 2019

Before We Start This Week…

Jumping Into The Future…

At the International Aviation Forecast Summit, we have the future covered…

Boom Supersonic will be presenting its views of the near future with its 70-75 seat Overture supersonic jetliner, which is on the near-horizon for operation ion the mid-2020s. It will engender changes in the way global airlines operate.

The supersonic demonstrator is well down the production process at the company’s Denver facility.

Now, How About Hypersonic… Further down the time line, there is also the concept of hypersonic airliners.

This is the reason the IAFS is excited to welcome Hermeus Corporation, which will be outlining the potential and future of airliners that can fly 5X the speed of sound… whole new technologies and a really over the horizon view of the future.

It’s another reason that aviation leaders will be in Las Vegas August 25-27…it’s alwasys cutting-edge…. just take a gander at the agenda – no other event exposes attendees to this number and level of aviation leaders.

Join us – and get real forecasts of the exciting and very different future we’ll be seeing in the coming decade!


The Global Airliner Industry –

New Changes At The Gate – And At The Orderbook

There’s been lots of speculation regarding how the 737 MAX grounding might be the start of opportunities for other manufacturers.

China Not In The Play. One trendy suggestion commonly mentioned is China, which has the 76-seat ARJ-21 and the 150+ seat C919 airliners on the deck.

The only problem is that neither of these platforms have a snowball’s chance in the South China Sea of being globally-competitive.

The challenge is breaking into the global airliner business with products that are, at best, just more-of-the-same. In fact, of the 705 orders for the C919, the majority are from leasing and finance companies, and all but a handful are from companies inside China.

In the past 40 years, China has successfully wowed the world by establishing itself as a leader or near-leader in a whole range of industries. Airliners, unfortunately, is not one of them.

But beyond this, there is one other factor that’s been unnoticed in regard to the global commercial airliner business…

It’s not a long-term growth business that is attractive to new entrants.

Manufacturer Challenge: Carefully Plan Production Rates. In fact, by 2028, our forecasts indicate that the annual global demand for turbojet airliners will decline by more than 40%.

It’s still going to be a robust business.  Even with this decline, there’s still the better part of 1,800 airliners forecast to be annually needed. But, given the amount of investment and capital necessary to barge into this sector, it’s probably one left to the current players.

Replacement Demand v Growth Demand. Here’s the issue: Today, the global airline industry is in the midst of ordering airliners based on re-fleeting. They want new-generation Airbus and Boeing and Embraer aircraft to replace older ones. This part of the equation will take another 4-5 years.

And when that’s completed, the annual demand will settle into one driven mostly by changes in passenger growth. And even here. the traditional methodologies of using economic and demographic metrics are increasingly problematic. New entrant carriers – particularly in Asia – are changing how airliners are used – spiking the market.

The Future – It’s A Jump Ball.  The Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit will be covering this, with our Global Airliner Trend & Demand Forecast, projecting out 2019 through 2028.

And we’re honored to also have the forecasts of Boeing, Airbus and Embraer at the IAFS™, too, which may well counter these projections, and will certainly bring wider perspectives. It’s what the IAFS™ is all about – exploration of new perspectives.

Supersonic? Yes… Another near-term disruptive wild card in this area is Boom Supersonic, which is producing a 70-75 seat airliner that is projected to have the economics to profitably carry business-class passengers at today’s fares, and will be in operation roughly in the mid-2020s.

This machine could literally clear out the front ends of existing wide-body international flights, thereby allowing more cabin real estate for “premium economy” (nee, “business class” circa 1985), which is the next frontier in revenue generation for major global carriers.

Back To The 1980s? Well, Maybe Outside of North America. One other consideration that runs counter to ambient thinking, not to mention demonstrable fleet history, is the potential future demand for next-generation turboprops.

In the U.S., they are DOA at the gate. But in other areas of the globe, 50-80 seat turboprops with the performance capabilities to meet the needs of rural growth regions, such as in Asia and particularly China, may have a new set of market potentialities.

Join The Exploration At the IAFS™. Lots of changes coming in the next ten years. At the International Aviation Forecast Summit, airliner and fleet issues are just a part of the exploration.

Furthermore, the airline and industry CEOs and senior executives at the Summit deliver what they believe is important to the future – and that means perspectives that no other aviation event can get close to.

If you haven’t registered yet, do so now by clicking here.

Monday Insight – July 29, 2019

Before We Get Started This Week…

International Aviation Forecast Summit Update:

Turkish Airlines VP To Present. We are honored to have Mustafa Doğan, Vice President (Americas) providing his airline’s views of the global aviation scene. This is an airline that’s aggressively expanding across the globe from its hub at the new giant Istanbul Airport, and US airports are in the cross-hairs.

Note that what sets the IAFS apart is that the global leaders such as Mr. Doğan make the determination regarding the areas they feel are most important – it’s free form exploration at the Summit, not canned subject “panels.”

New China-US Forecast: Forget the trade war – it’s just another indication of how important the two countries are to each other, and expanded air service is a part of it China-US traffic is entering a whole new phase, and all US airports are in the play. Some of the forecast findings:

Growth: China air traffic growth is slowing, but not traffic to the US, which today is less than 15% of what can develop in the next 5 years…

American Airlines In The Beijing Pole Position: Why AA and its US destinations will be the major immediate beneficiaries of the new Beijing Daxing Airport…

The #1 Air Market Earlier Than Expected – plan on mid 2021 for China to surpass the US…

New Hubsites In China: Today, there are no true US-style connecting hub operations in China. But that’ll change by 2023. Chinese carriers and their US alliance partner hubs will open easy access from all of the US to all of China… and more.

This will be presented in detail at the Airports:China session at the IAFS. Any airport that’s looking at connectivity with China should not miss it.

Sunday Afternoon Workshops Now Announced

Get in a bit early… because at 1PM sharp, the exciting optional pre-Summit Workshop Program begins… Five sessions covering subjects other events don’t even get near.

  • Boyd Group International: Airports:2025 – Leveraging America’s Globe-Leading Aviation System
  • Tencent & IM2China:  Capturing Chinese Business With New Access Channels
  • Captain John Cox: SMS: Optimizing Safety in Airport & Aviation Operations
  • UAS: Drones the Next Communication System
  • Cirium: What a Difference a Data Makes: From QSI to Consumer Analytics & Back

To see the entire exciting IAFS agenda and to register, click here.


The MAX Grounding – Four Airlines Now Re-Thinking Fleet Deployment

Everything From 50-Seaters To 787s Are In the Play

Okay, now, it’s a real problem.

One that’s fixin’ to affect air service access at a lot of US airports.

A Couple of Metrics: 1.57 million annual passengers. $210.6 million in annual fare revenue. Toss in ancillaries, and it could be as much as a quarter billion dollars.

That’s what Southwest is giving up with its cessation of service at Newark Liberty International.

They need the airplanes elsewhere, and with the new fleet imperatives represented by the MAX grounding, the airline determined that EWR suddenly was simply non-performing.

Even with a million and half passengers.

The message for any US airport served by one or more of the four Max-operator airlines is clear. These carriers are sharpening their red pencils. They have no choice.

Background: the Boeing 737 MAX situation, originally assumed to be a relatively fixable software blip, has now escalated in one that will affect communities across the nation – whether they have 737 service or not.

Just as at Newark, the standard of highest and best use of aircraft has gone up, as affected carriers look to address the shortfall in planned capacity. Way up.

Here’s some more dismal news. If the operational go-ahead for MAX operations is granted in January, that’s not the end of this mess. It’s a lot more than sticking keys in the ignition and flying these machines back to their owners. It’s just the start of what could be another six months to get all of the grounded fleets back in the air.

Southwest is the most severely affected, in that, unlike American, United and Alaska, it has only 737s in its fleet.  AA is taking delivery of A-321s and some used A-319s. United has a fleet of used 737-700s already contracted, and also some used A-319s. Both are taking mainline-cabin Embraer-175s and leasing them to surrogate “regional” partners. Furthermore, both AA and UA have substantial route and revenue streams generated by international and widebody flying.

Regardless, with a grounding for the rest of the year, all four of these airlines will still increasingly be way short of the aircraft – and the revenue generation – that they had anticipated, and will be taking a hard look at redeploying their fleets to maximize revenue streams in the absence of MAX aircraft. We have already seen Southwest drop an airport that represented almost 40% of its presence in the New York metro – and also reduce some frequencies elsewhere in their system.

At all four carriers, there will be a ripple effect across entire route planning and aircraft resource applications, and at AA. UA and AS, the review will encompass 50-seaters through intercontinental wide-bodies. More threat of red pencil usage in the market planning department.

Crunch Time Only Just Starts With An FAA Approval. At the time of the grounding in March, it involved just 35 airplanes in the US. However, by the end of the year – which is now the estimate for any regulatory approval involving the MAX – the situation will represent close to 130 airplanes that would otherwise be in service at American, United, Southwest and Alaska.

Not only that, but by that time, Boeing will be facing approximately 600 737 MAXs that have been sitting like big potted plants on the ground, stored. About half of these were parked immediately upon leaving the factory, either at Boeing or flown to another storage field. The rest are scattered across the globe. Just getting them out of a storage mode represents time and effort.

All will then be subject to whatever the ultimate approved “fix” is determined to be. But some of the ones just out of the factory likely will also need some substantial finishing not yet done– such as interiors and airline-specific equipment.

This work, in addition to whatever FAA-directed modifications are ordered, will need to addressed, and digesting this grounded flock of 737s could take additional months of metering the airliners through the Boeing facility.

Another unknown is the potential changes that may be required for additional or supplemental pilot training. Simulator time may be in big demand – and up until now, much of this was accomplished in 737NG simulators. As for MAX-specific simulators – there are less than 20 in the world right now.

Revaluing Aircraft Mission Applications. What all this means is that the four carriers affected will be re-thinking their market and route planning. There could be more, albeit less obvious, “Newarks” from the red pencil department. Reductions in frequency. Changes in fleet gauge on certain routes. Elimination of what are suddenly non-performing markets in light of the MAX shortage.

It’s a lead-pipe cinch that a lot of what these carriers were planning back in March is now in the round file. It’s a near certainly that some of the expansion that may have been on the books earlier this year is now on hold, or eliminated completely.

Getting Perspective on The MAX Issue at Your Airport

It is logical for the community, local media and airport boards to have concerns regarding how this situation may affect local and regional air access.

We are now reviewing the strategic and tactical fallout from the MAX situation at a number of our client airports.

Our understanding of airline trends and strategies is unrivaled and, while there’s no crystal ball, there are logical metrics that can be analyzed to determine the vulnerability of a given airport to MAX-driven redeployment of airline fleets.

Tactically, Boyd Group International is now working with client airports to analyze carefully-crafted outreach programs to these carriers. Therefore, any airports served by these airlines need now to carefully review their market performance – and that means revenue performance, competitive aspects, hub flows, and other metrics specific to the carrier, and not necessarily just load factors. Then, formulate a clear outreach plan to assure that the carrier(s) understand the value of the market.

At any airport that has service from one or more of the MAX-affected carriers, it would be prudent to get some visioning now on what fleet redeployment may represent. The objective is to explore how to proactively liaise with the carrier(s) to shortstop any wayward red pencil activity in the route planning department.

Remember, Newark, with close to a quarter billion in revenues, sank below the line. So, there should be concern at smaller airports, too. If you’re interested in a very concise analysis in this regard, give us a call, or click here.

In the meantime, a lot or red pencils are being sharpened as we speak.



July 22, 2019 Monday Insight

Where Will You Be On August 25?

IAFS™ Attendees Will Be Visiting The Future

One of the unique features of the International Aviation Forecast Summit is that it’s focused entirely on exploring the future of aviation… the future as aviation leaders – CEOs and senior executives from across the airline, airport and aircraft sectors – each see it unfolding.

That’s the difference at the IAFS™. These thought-leaders join us to discuss their perspectives.

No droning “panels” straight-jacketed into talking about pre-determined subjects that conference organizers have unilaterally determined to be the latest trendy concepts in group-think.

In that regard, many IAFS™ attendees join us for our exclusive optional pre-Summit Workshop program, this year on Sunday afternoon, August 25.

Over just a few exciting hours, this program delivers more insight and futurist thinking than other aviation events in their entirety.

And they tend to rattle a few cages of traditional thinking.

Here’s an outline of just one of the Workshops…

Airports:2025 –

Leveraging America’s Globe-Leading Aviation System

There’s lots of media babble about how the United States has a deteriorating airport system compared to the rest of the world. It’s dogma.

This wallow in factual myopia typically takes new airports in, say China, or in Turkey, or they showcase Singapore, and then compares them to the old New York LaGuardia, and arrogantly concludes that America is sinking into the Third World of aviation.

Wrong. Flat wrong. Fake news.

The fact is that this country already has the most advanced airport system in the world… one that’s ready to deliver all of the resources of the USA – rural, regional, and metro – to compete in the global economy. These media stories – even in the aviation sector, which should know better – are oblivious to the functional role and economic importance of airports.

On August 25, turn down the lights in the room. In this Workshop, we’re teleporting to January 1, 2025.

Let’s explore. It’s a world where there’s a whole new logistics system in place – one in which airports of all sizes have new roles and new economic opportunities.

Now, here in 2025, airports – whether in major metro areas or in the rural West – are now a vibrant part of the global economy. Things are very different from today.

Your Cell Phone Might Be Made In Nebraska. One of the key things we notice as we enter 2025 is that manufacturing has changed fundamentally. The rest of the world is recognizing that an electronics plant in places like Scottsbluff and Waco are superior options to facilities in Vietnam or Mexico. 

One major change is that the advantage of “low labor costs” (read: workers paid two-bits an hour working 12 hours a day without benefits) cannot compete with the economics of new manufacturing technologies represented by robotics.

From Factory To Consumer In 90% Less Time. Next, we’ll find that the new logistics systems in place can deliver these goods faster to distribution centers at lower cost than schlepping them by boat from Cambodia, having them wait for three days at the clogged Port of Los Angeles and then be trans-shipped by rail to another location to be shifted again onto truck transport.

In this, UAVs are a key part of the new system, too, with remote command centers directing just-in-time deliveries, vastly lowering distribution costs and opening many of America’s 4,000 airports to new logistical roles.

See, that drone technology that can plop a major piece of ordinance on top of some terrorist bozo in the Middle East, is also viable for moving goods – and in many cases at a total cost less than ground transport, too.

Different – Very Different – Air Access. Air passenger travel will also be materially evolved.

Commercial centers such as Albany, Columbus and Louisville will be enjoying nonstops to key hubs in the E.U., opening new investment and commercial activity from all across Europe and Asia.

No, we won’t see a return of the 1980s regional air system. No, there won’t be a new resurgence of scheduled flights at all small airports – by 2025 that pipe dream will be replaced by the reality of regional access – instead of wasting money chasing local airport air service that’s politically-desired but consumer non-competitive.

Instead of rural passenger air service at the local airport that doesn’t economically work, in 2025 the new channels of communication and logistics will kick the economic gates open at small communities across the nation.

Our Airport System Is Functional… Not Flashy. At this Workshop, we are going to illuminate how the U.S. airport system is already the most advanced in the world.

Sure, that glowing high-end shopping experience of Singapore Changi, and the engineering wonder of the new Beijing Daxing International, and the wonderous new Istanbul airport are all impressive.

But when it comes to being ready to deliver the goods (literally and figuratively), these facilities pale against the value and economic power of the U.S. airport system of over 4,000 viable airports ready to take advantage of the future of global logistics technology.

Join Us For More… This is just one of the Workshops being held on August 25, at the Wynn/Encore Las Vegas. They are just the prelude to the data, information, and futurist forecasts delivered at the Summit itself.

Click here for more information. The specific agenda of presentations is being posted shortly, and the outlines of the other pre-Summit optional workshops are now shown.

If you’re into banging on the cages of traditional and outmoded aviation thinking, let’s get together August 25-27.

We look forward to seeing you!