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Let the Good Times Continue to Roll

  • Magazine Feature Article
  • 15AERP08_02
Published August 01, 2015 by SAE International in United States
  • English

The booming international commercial aviation sector continues to be a bright light leading the future of the aerospace industry.

It is hard to imagine just how radical the change in fortunes for the world's major commercial aerospace manufacturers has been in the last few years. Just ten years ago the smart money in aerospace pointed to the defense sector as the best source of future profitability. But just as this was reaching a peak, the full impact of a near meltdown in global financial markets brought home to Western governments that defense budgets couldn't just keep on expanding and a new era of military program cuts began.

In contrast, in spite of the grim economic backdrop, global demand for air travel just kept on growing. The steady year-on-year expansion of civil aviation in the Asia Pacific and Latin American regions, as well as in the Arabian Gulf, more than compensated for a slowdown in the ability of established Western airlines to replace elderly jetliner fleets with more fuel-efficient aircraft designs.