AeroDynamic Advisory is a boutique aerospace consulting firm specializing in aerospace strategy & growth, MRO, transaction support, customer satisfaction, and economic development.
We work with the world’s leading aviation and aerospace companies– from the very largest to small and mid-cap companies and consider ourselves as “part of the industry,” not “outside consultants.” While we bring an independent and objective perspective, we understand the aviation and aerospace industries and we contribute to the collective market understanding through conference presentations, focused surveys, and white papers.
Aerospace Industry Insights
We have become used to traveling freely in an open world, but with COVID-19, borders add a layer of uncertainty that may hamper aviation for years to come.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the airline industry has understandably focused on measures that mitigate virus transmission risks in airports and aircraft. However, the role of travel as a facilitator of the spread of a virus may be a larger obstacle and one that the aviation industry can control less.
Europe’s Center for Disease Prevention and Control released a set of travel guidelines in late May to provide a common framework for facilitating travel. They are pragmatic, reasonable guidelines that airlines can live with, such as encouraging hygiene, mask-wearing and keeping middle seats empty “where possible.”
However, the document also provides some sobering reading. It notes that none of the measures that could prevent infected passengers from traveling—such as “immunity passports” or pretravel/arrival testing—are either sufficiently effective or economical.
The document also highlights challenges of managing and coordinating case tracking across borders, considerations each country needs to make:
- What are standards for when to open/close borders?
- What is the level of cases? Are they trending up or down?
- What are the accepted approaches to measuring cases?
- What would be the effects on the local health system if there is a local outbreak?
- How can case- and contact-tracking information be coordinated while maintaining privacy?
While keeping safe control over all this, governments also must try to stay agile to accommodate travelers and the travel industry. The result is borders opening soon, perhaps a bit later or closing on short notice, all in line with fluctuating local case trends. Neither airlines nor passengers are ready to cope with this extra layer of uncertainty.
Flying with empty middle seats means airlines will struggle to turn a profit, creating a dilemma for an industry desperate to revive itself
Claire Bushey in Chicago
Flying with empty middle seats means airlines will struggle to turn a profit, creating a dilemma for an industry desperate to revive itself while also reassuring passengers they are safe.
U.S. airlines saw some demand for travel return this summer, though it has stalled as new COVID-19 cases continue to rise in southern and western states.
American Airlines told passengers to expect fully booked planes on July 1, including middle seats. The company had previously attempted to leave some seats empty for social distancing.
Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force, panned the decision. Oregon senator Jeff Merkley said he would introduce a bill to block the practice and celebrity cookbook author Chrissy Teigen garnered 88,000 likes for a tweet that said the airline “only cares about money.”
Selling more seats would help airlines stem their losses, which ranged from US$94 million to US$2.2 billion among major U.S. carriers in the first quarter. Delta Air Lines, the only U.S. airline so far to report second-quarter results, posted a US$7 billion pre-tax loss.
To break even on a flight, airlines need to sell about 75 per cent of a plane’s seating capacity. That is 8 percentage points higher than an aeroplane where every third seat is empty.
“If you leave the middle seat empty…you’re not going to make money,” said Kevin Michaels, managing director of AeroDynamic Advisory.
United Airlines is also allowing middle seats to be booked. Delta and Southwest airlines both plan to wait until autumn before they begin fully booking planes, while low-cost U.S. carriers are split evenly between the two stances.
Parker Aerospace earned high scores in customer satisfaction among aerospace MRO mechanical and electrical suppliers worldwide through an independent survey.
CLEVELAND -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Parker Aerospace, a business segment of Parker Hannifin Corporation (NYSE: PH), the global leader in motion and control technologies, today announced that it has received the top score in airline customer satisfaction among maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) mechanical and electrical suppliers worldwide. The findings come from the third annual Air Transport Aftermarket Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted by Inside MRO, Air Transport World, and AeroDynamic Advisory.
Of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) ranked, only seven logged strong satisfaction scores. On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the highest, those OEMs are:
- CFM (7.5)
- Boeing (7.2)
- GE Aviation (7.1)
- Pratt & Whitney (APUs, 7.1)
- Parker Aerospace (7.0)
- BAE Systems (7.0)
This survey was conducted from mid-February to mid-May, with 185 qualified responses, including 62 unique airlines from around the world. OEMs were ranked in the following categories: ease of doing business, product reliability, technical support, parts cost, parts availability, aircraft-on-ground (AOG) support, OEM repair cost, OEM service center performance, overall satisfaction, and the likelihood of recommending them to a peer or colleague.
Parker Aerospace improved year-over-year scores in ease of doing business, technical support, OEM repair cost, and OEM service center performance while also receiving the highest overall satisfaction score for mechanical/electrical suppliers in 2020. Most of the industry continues to show low net promoter scores (NPS) scores, like overall satisfaction, and Parker's NPS score has reminded high among peers.