updated 1/13/2011 9:46:16 AM ET 2011-01-13T14:46:16

EVERGREEN, Colo., Jan. 13, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In an overview of emerging aviation trends, U.S. aviation suppliers were warned to expect strong market inroads from Chinese firms seeking to build market share in the U.S.

The report – Dealing With Hard Realities – Aviation Predictions 2011 – noted that while U.S. companies are distracted by sales opportunities in China, Chinese companies are moving aggressively in the U.S. market. "The assumption is that China's airport expansion program will be a huge opportunity for U.S. companies," noted Michael Boyd. President of the Colorado-based aviation consulting firm. "Maybe not."

"China now has its own aviation industry. U.S. suppliers should watch their flanks. While they're in Wuhan trying to sell ground equipment, Chinese firms will be aggressively taking market share from them at airports here." The recent purchase of Continental Motors by a Chinese company is just the start of a major trend.

Other Predictions. The report covered several emerging dynamics:

  • Enplanements will not be as robust as some are predicting – less than 2.5% in 2011. "There's little new capacity, and with fuel going up, airlines are going to circle their wagons," Boyd noted.
  • Smaller "regional jets" will see more rapid retirement if oil goes over $100. Above that, the economics of 66-75 seat RJs will start to become problematic.
  • Airline fleets: The Bombardier C-Series is the new driver. "If it comes out as predicted, the order book will get filled very quickly."

Air Service Regional, Not Local, Access. Fewer airlines and higher costs mean that many smaller communities will need to pursue regional, instead of local, air service planning. "Network access is important, and that requires traffic volume that many smaller airports cannot generate anymore. Studies and surveys won't change that reality."

NextGen Air Traffic Control Keep Waiting. Regardless of FAA promises, NextGen will continue to wallow in 2011. "It's a collection of programs the FAA has failed to implement over the last decade. Compare promises with results, and it's hard to understand how anyone in aviation can support this continued FAA stumbling." To underscore this prediction, the report was issued on the same day that another three-year delay in a key NextGen component was announced.

TSA – More Airport Rebellion. The report noted that airports are starting to rebel against the TSA's sloppy management of security, and are moving toward private-sector screeners. "While their alphabet-group representatives in Washington continue to laud the TSA, in 2011 airports out in the real-world will be taking matters into their own hands."

Aviation Predictions – Year 2011 can be downloaded at www.AviationPlanning.com.

Founded in 1984, Boyd Group International is a multi-dimensional aviation research and consulting firm based in Evergreen, Colorado, with focus on strategic planning and industry forecasting. Clients include major airlines, airports, financial institutions and labor organizations.

The Boyd Group, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4857

CONTACT: Michael Boyd
         (303) 674-2000

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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