Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at The Teal Group, a provider of aerospace and defense market intelligence, analysis, and forecasts, was informative (as always) at the Mentor Graphics Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF) 2013 in Dallas this month.
Not surprisingly, Aboulafia’s valuable insights will be the subject of a series of blogs on the aviation market, including both civil and military industry segments. His observances and predictions are especially valuable to military and aerospace (mil/aero) professionals given the uncertain and volatile worldwide economy—not to mention the anxiety, confusion, and speculation surrounding sequestration in the U.S.
We kick off with a look at the commercial airline market, which Aboulafia has described as having been and continuing to be “bulletproof.” In fact, orders of commercial airliners currently stretch out as far as to 2018—certainly a favorable position for airframe manufacturers and providers of avionics and other airborne components and systems. Other industry pundits concur with Aboulafia’s assessment, noting that the commercial aviation segment is buoying the entire, overarching aviation market.
The commercial airline market is driven by cycles, yet the aerospace industry has been known to buck that trend occasionally. In years where a downturn has been fervently predicted, the industry has experienced surprising
growth. In 2011, air passenger demand grew–giving the market a much-needed and welcomed boost. Conversely, air passenger demand faltered, yet global commercial aircraft output grew by more than 29 percent, slightly less than the growth achieved in 2011.
This geek has a great deal of respect for industry analysts, such as Aboulafia, who seem to always provide spot-on predictions in even the most tumultuous times.