The COVID-19 pandemic forced lockdowns and border closures, which subsequently curtailed global travel. Industry revenue in fiscal year (FY) 2020–2021 amounted to $328 billion—the nominal equivalent to revenue generated in FY 2000–2001. Due to grounded aircraft and cancelled flights, the reasons for the shift in passenger behavior, government restrictions, and economic downturn go beyond the carbon impact in the near term.

Fossil fuel derivatives remain the most volatile cost in the operations of airlines and airports. In addition, maintenance costs account for a substantial portion of operating expenses (OPEX). Incorporating sustainable and energy-efficient technologies to power aircraft, airports, and ground support equipment (GSE) can reduce OPEX in the short, medium, and long terms. Technological maturity and widespread adoption will reduce cost implications due to economies of scale.

Aircraft OEMs, battery and solar photovoltaic manufacturers, hydrogen suppliers, and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) refineries are seeking increased investments and strategic partnerships to drive the advancement of aviation and the improvement of market standards, product offerings, and time to market. Frost & Sullivan forecasts increased mergers, acquisitions, and vertical partnerships with solution providers and horizontal partnerships with correlative industries to boost resilience and meaningful change.

Increasing developments made in electric propulsion have triggered the demand for and development of battery technologies. Growing demand for newer, sustainable aircraft with reduced operational and maintenance costs will remain a primary focus of aviation stakeholders. More battery- and hydrogen-driven electric aircraft are capable of leveraging data from airframe systems at a component level. The Industrial Internet of Things integrates information technology and operational technology, enabling predictive maintenance systems and proficient diagnostics and prognostics for aviation maintenance, repair, and operations.

This report offers a look at the future of sustainable aviation, including discussions of market trends, growth drivers and restraints, business use cases, regional dynamics, and 5 major growth opportunities industry stakeholders must know about.