Monday Update – March 9, 2020

Straight Talk Regarding CONVID-19

For ongoing data and information on CONVID-19 developments that affect aviation in China as well as the rest of the globe, we’re routinely updating the Insights page at It is the new source of hard information on China’s air transportation system.

Historical Data. We have monthly national statistics regarding traffic by sector and region. In the future, we will be generating additional airport-specific information.

Forecast Accuracy. We’re proud to note that our Airports:China™ forecast for 2019 airport traffic was within less than half a percentage point of the number just reported by CAAC.

Independent Perspectives That Challenge “Official” Information. In the Insights section, however, we do not get anywhere near that close to political correctness.

Using a range of sources and information – not just “official” statements – some of the troubling factors in this  CONVID-19 situation are covered.

What Happens In China Affects Air Transportation. Just about any major event in China will drive changes in air travel patterns and demand.

So, BoydGroupChina is not reticent to address and analyze these issue.

These include reviews of the initial government reticence to be up front about the virus, the threats to medical professionals to not “spread rumors” by talking about the virus, incarcerating people covering the event on social media, and embarrassing missives from the government, such as claiming that air travel is completely safe… as long as you don’t sit near an infected person. (Cannot make this up.)

We also discuss the possible lack of candor and reliability of information coming from the Chinese government regarding the actual spread of the virus. There is evidence that it is possibly still out of control, and the numbers are “managed.” Indeed, much of China is economically still shut down.

We relate these major events to shift in air capacity and service levels across the nation. The result in an insight source not found anywhere else.

Log On – We are developing this site to be the first independent source of data and information on aviation in China, and how it affects the U.S. and the rest of the globe.


Air France Retires First of A380 Fleet

Air France has pulled its first of a fleet of ten A380s out of service.

It joins five others previously retired by Singapore, one of which has been scrapped for lack of second-hand customers. The other nine AF 380s will be gone by 2022.

This evolving situation again underscores the need to question ambient trend-line thinking.

Twenty years ago, every major airport had “VLJs” – very large jets – as part of their must-have future capacity planning, with the future need to handle airplanes transiting 1,000 passengers (500 arriving and 500 departing) at a clip.

With a few exceptions – Boyd Group International being one – the me-too consensus in the aviation consulting business was that the A380 was going to be the future flagship of international air commerce. And why not – bigger and bigger has been the trend ever since the DC-3 eclipsed the Boeing 247, and it and its followers being leapfrogged by larger and larger airliners, right up to the 747, DC-10, and L-1011.

We, along with a only couple of other firms, urged caution, pointing out issues such as total changes in the character of the air transportation system, the raw number of A380 units needed to be sold to cover development costs, as well as the A380’s limited mission flexibility, were demand-limiters that were not being considered.

Flight Shaming

Flight Shaming – Let’s All Live In Clean Caves

The media seems to be mesmerized by the concept of making people ashamed of getting on an airplane.

“Flight shaming” is based on the head-in-the-sand luddite concept that to travel on an airplane is to blatantly and selfishly destroy the environment… to deny polar bears the ice to live on, and cause the ozone hole to expand into a human-lethal gap in the sky.

Yup. Just staying put is far more responsible than flying to see grandma. You can do that electronically, anyway.

The media reports on flight shaming as if it is a natural option that should be explored across the globe, when in fact it represents a fundamental concept that is anti-human. It it causes carbon, it must be bad, and therefore anyone who creates a “carbon footprint” is evil.

Regardless of any information, science, or technological input that may moderate or in some cases completely refute this panic-call to end carbon emissions, flight shaming and other supposed measures are not to be questioned. It’s decided. Air travel is evil to the environment – it is not to be questioned.

Let’s grab a third rail. The airline industry has mostly just gone along with th

Congratulations To Bozeman

For the 2019 – 2020 ski season, Bozeman will be the nation’s best-served ski resort gateway.

The air access point for the Big Sky Ski Resort, BZN will have daily nonstop flights to 13 airline connecting hubs, making nonstop and single-connect service  available from most commercially served airports in the nation – far more than any other U.S. winter sports venue.

As its air service consultant, Boyd Group International is honored to have assisted Bozeman in recruiting and retaining this access.

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.

First Quarter Airport Key Performance Metrics & Short Term Forecasts

Subscribers to Aviation DataMiner’s Airport Key Performance Metrics & Short-Term Passenger Forecasts will be receiving their reports for the 1Q of 2019 in the next week.

Unlike other “quarterly” products, this program delivers refined planning data and information, instead of just numbers regurgitated from raw BTS tables, which reflect no value-added insights.

One key indicator of an amateur and sloppy “quarterly” report: when all the O&D numbers end in zero. This means that they are just taken raw from the BTS website, without any attempt to reconcile the data against other sources. This is necessary because the 10% sample data results in material errors and misinformation, particularly in smaller markets.

If you’re interested in real quarterly planning data, not just page after page of numbers any high school intern could pull off the ‘net, give us a call for subscription information to Airport Key Performance Metrics & Short-Term Passenger Forecasts, or click here and ask us.

First Q 2019 BTS Data Issued

The latest reported raw O&D data have been screened for accuracy, reconciled against other sources, and are now available on-line to Aviation DataMiner subscribers.

Overall, the indications are that the strong economy is driving solid traffic, with carriers carefully applying capacity to maximize ROI.

The baseline indications are still pointing to @ 4.5% enplanement growth in 2019.

Airports should now prepare for the usual suspects in the media to call and babble about “comparative” ticket prices between airports. Be ready to attempt to educate these deluded folks in regard to the fact that air transportation is not a single commodity, but is a different product airport to airport.

China Consulting Projects

Examples of Our China Projects

Boyd Group International is the leader in research, forecasting and trend analysis of China air traffic.

Our Airports:China program monitors traffic and passenger dynamics at over 200 airports across the Middle Kingdom. We monitor events in China via numerous channels, including locally-produced reports in Chinese language. Below are a few of our projects in this area.

Exclusive China-Welcome Programs For Communities & Airports

Boyd Group International’s China Welcome programs provide cutting-edge programs to assist airports, communities and venues in attracting a larger share of the burgeoning Chinese leisure market to the USA.

The programs range from basic digital awareness programs within China, including tailored and locally-registered WeChat apps, to complete wayfinding and accommodation programs to assist these visitors infinding US airports and communities welcoming to them Because of the nature of Chinese visitation, all areas of the USA have opportunities to capture this traffic, from Yellowstone, to Mr. Desert Island, to the Florida Keys, to the Alamo, BGI provides programs to illuminate their profile in China, as well as facilitate their travel through airports and communities.

China-Huanying System For Las Vegas McCarran International Airport

Boyd Group International, engineered a comprehensive China-Huanying Guanglin (Greetings & Welcome) program for Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, in conjunction with new nonstop flights from Beijing on Hainan Airlines.

This will position LAS to be the premier gateway airport of choice for additional Chinese carriers, and is one that no other airport in the US even comes close to.

The program encompasses all phases of the Chinese guest’s transit through the airport, from the aircraft door, through the concourse, to the FIS, and to curbside – and back.

A new WeChat app for McCarran is the most advanced of any US airport, and was designed from the bottom-up in Chinese by airport service experts. Not only is it at or above a par with will the apps at global airports such as Shanghai and Beijing, but it is a huge advantage in demonstrating to Chinese carriers that LAS is focused on making their passengers welcome and comfortable.

A special Huanying (Welcome) Ambassador program was implemented with Mandarin-speaking staff, in recognizable uniforms, at the ready to proactively assist arriving and departing Chinese visitors.

Most US airports will claim to have a “China ready” program. McCarran is the first to have a fully-functional one in place.

Support Materials – Brochures & Trans-Created Webpages and Websites

Regardless of the size of an airport, it has Chinese visitors.

Having materials and information ready and available in Chinese – such as an informational brochure and a page on an airport’s website – conveys interest and respect when leisure and business travelers consider coming to a US community. With over $14 billion in Chinese business investment in the US, a simple expression such as this can make a difference in a site-search. This is in addition to the over 23 million leisure visitors that will be exploring the US over the next five years.

But this is not an endeavor for amateurs. Unfortunately, often these materials are simply translated by a web service from English, which can be very embarrassing. For just one example, the term “black car” is often used at US airports to describe the Towncars, sedans and limousines that are a key part of the ground transportation system, most of which are black.

But the term heiche – black car –has an entirely different connotation in China. It tells the reader that the airport is served by dishonest gypsy cabs. Not a good promotional idea.

Our translation partners are versed in the travel business. Therefore, materials are not “translated” but trans-created, taking the intent of the message and putting it into Chinese context, syntax and visual format. (Chinese-language brochures and websites follow very different design demands and characteristics, and the China Ni Hao team delivers it.)

We have accomplished this for a number of airport clients, raising their profile and awareness among this important new traffic sector.

For example, shown is a brochure we had trans-created for New Orleans International Airport, showcasing the airport’s new terminal and how it will welcome honored visitors from China. On the opposite side (not shown) providing a description the fun attractions in the city.


Route & Market Feasibility Analyses – Southeast Asia – China Markets

One of our clients – a major travel operator in Southeast Asia – called upon Boyd Group International to provide route and revenue projections for a range of proposed routes to major Chinese destinations.

These included markets from Beijing, Hong Kong, Sanya, Chengdu, Hefei, Lanzhou and Xi’an. BGI analyzed each market’s specific costs, requirements for specific navigational capabilities at each airport, potential competitive actions, and de facto effects on certain markets due to Chinese government travel policies.


The First China-US Aviation Opportunities Symposiums.

Boyd Group International has been engaged in advanced forecasts of both China aircraft demand, as well as the future of Chinese visitation and investment in the US. The Symposium has opened new liaison between China and several of the airports attending.

Our forecasts have been at the forefront of defining and predicting the growth in both leisure and business travel to the US from China. Updates have been provided at the IAFS™ over the past four years. In 2015, this was expanded to its own Symposium, held in Las Vegas. It outlined programs for airports and communities to pursue to become China-Welcome™ and capture their share of the 16 million expected visitors from China over the next five years.


Participation In The First China Aviation Fuel Conference.

BGI worked in the marketing of, and participated in, the first conference focusing on fuel logistics in China. Attended by CEOs of major energy companies and suppliers, the event in Beijing attracted over 1,000 delegates from around the world, including members of China’s Standing Committee (equivalent of the US Cabinet.)

Another 737 Issue Insight

The pilots unions at American, United and Southwest have determined that differences training – not full flight simulator sessions – are adequate to meet all safety issues in regard to getting the MAX back in the sky.

In all the media smoke around the MAX issue, it is these professionals – safety professionals – that have and should be accorded full credibility in regard to the MAX issue.

They have more than a dog in the fight – they are in the cockpit.