LANGKAWI: Aircraft manufacturers are eyeing a tremendous growth in single-aisle aircraft due to a shift in global aviation travel patterns post-Covid.
This follows an increasing demand in regional routes as people return more and more to travels.
John Evans, the chief executive officer of aircraft lessor Azorra, acknowledged that there were changing travel patterns in the global aviation market in the post-pandemic era.
“We are seeing changing travel patterns around the world and increasing demand in regional routes,” he said.
Evans attributed the shifting travel patterns to changes brought about by the pandemic, as people are enjoying longer weekends, with many enjoying the flexibility of working remotely.
“We are not only seeing this pattern in Southeast Asia but also the other parts of the world. What we also know is that passengers much prefer more frequency in a given market than flying with less frequency, to the extent the infrastructure can’t keep up with the demand,” added Evans.
This development, he said, has placed single-aisle aircraft in demand to meet the growth of regional routes.
As for plane manufacturers, the changes have opened up vast potential for the growth of a new generation of single-aisle aircraft fitted with engines that offer fuel efficiency, thus reducing carbon footprint.
Martyn Holmes, the chief commercial officer of Brazil’s Embraer Commercial Aviation concurred.
“If we look at domestic travel in Malaysia, about 45 per cent of flights run on 120-passenger aircraft. Taking into account the cost of fuel and less emission, regional aircraft have really low trip cost but the seats cost wasn’t quite there.
“What we have now by flying with the E195-E2 aircraft is something the industry never ever had before. We have something like 20 per cent lower trip cost in a larger airplane and similar seat posts, so you are not making that big compromise.
“Hence, now you can align technology, and the economics with the changing travel patterns and the need for us to be more attentive to the environment,” he said.
Holmes added that Embraer saw huge potential in its new generation of single-aisle product for Malaysia and the Southeast Asia region.
Both Evans and Holmes were met after a signing ceremony between Embraer and SKS Airways for the lease of 10 E2 single-aisle jets in a deal worth more than US$840 million (RM3.9 billion) from Azorra at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition 2023 (Lima’23).
The event was graced by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
The deal was sealed several days after Embraer inked a deal with Singapore’s Scoot Air to supply nine E2 jets.
According to SKS Airways director Datuk Rohman Ahmad the deal was part of the Subang-based airline’s expansion plans, with the delivery of the first two aircraft by next year.
“The growing demand for regional routes, the economic performance and being more environmentally friendly are among the main drivers for the airline’s decision to choose the aircraft.
“The prevalence of the Embraer jets at city airports around the world and their low noise emissions made the aircraft a perfect fit for flights in and out of Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang.
“This is in line with the government’s objective of establishing the airport as Malaysia’s premium city airport and aviation hub,” he said.
Rohman added that the deal included a 12-year operating lease agreement, covering the repair and maintenance of the 10 Embraer jets.
Besides Embraer, the other global aircraft maker, Airbus is also vying to capitalise on the tremendous potential in its A220 single-aisle modern aircraft in the Asia Pacific as the aviation industry in the region is bouncing back from the impact of the pandemic.
Airbus marketing director for single-aisle products Raymond Manougian was reported as saying the economical aspect and superior cabin of the A220, plus its lower carbon emissions, were key selling points for the aircraft, which commands 60 per cent worldwide market share in the segment.
May 30, 2023
Design by Jacquelyn Brink
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Azorra is a relationship-driven commercial aircraft lessor, providing lease, financing, and asset management solutions with a focus on regional, crossover and small narrowbody aircraft. Azorra’s management team, with more than 25 years of experience on average, is led by industry veterans with a proven track record and a wealth of experience in aircraft leasing.