Global aviation recovering quicker than other areas of transport

11 November 2010

Norton Rose survey reveals key international aviation trends

According to a survey by international legal practice Norton Rose Group, the aviation sector is reporting the strongest recovery from the global recession compared to other areas of the transport industry. Twenty-one per-cent of international respondents feel recovery is already happening in aviation - a jump of 12% from 2009. This compares to 17% in shipping (a jump of 8% year on year) and 14% in rail (a jump of 1 % year on year).

Aviation business strategies are also different to last year. Respondents to the Norton Rose Group survey in 2009 indicated the main characteristic of aviation business strategies was the disposal of non core assets and retrenchment. Now, joint ventures are the most popular feature of business strategies in the coming year, being actively considered by 58% of aviation sector respondents. Those planning retrenchment have fallen from 47% in 2009 to just 26% now.

The report, entitled the Norton Rose Group Way Ahead Transport Survey 2010, is the second transport report released by Norton Rose Group. It details the views of 679 international respondents from a range of companies involved in transport, including financiers, owner/operators, manufacturers, government entities and professional services firms. 209 of the respondents are from the aviation sector.

Other global aviation findings from the report include:

  • 63% of aviation respondents feel incentives (e.g. fiscal) are most likely to promote a sustained investment in greener transport technologies - only 19% believe that fines and penalties are effective.
  • Only 27% feel greenhouse gas emissions should be the primary focus for regulatory action. Instead, companies involved in aviation supported greater liberalisation of routes as the overriding priority for regulatory effort, with 45% calling for action.
  • 30% of aviation respondents feel that investment in infrastructure is the most helpful form of government support. This is significantly lower than in rail (58%) and nearly on a par with shipping (34%).
  • 47% report that funds from shareholders will be the primary source of financing over the next two years.
  • Many aviation respondents feel the best opportunities for investments are in their own regional market, though China is overall top with 48%. India comes second, chosen by 37%, with South East Asia chosen by 27%.
  • 47% of aviation respondents expect their routes and services to increase in the next year, markedly higher than in shipping (33%) and rail (33%).

Neil Poland, global head of aviation at Norton Rose Group, commented:

“The aviation industry has had a lot to cope with in the last twelve months, and was perhaps worse hit than other areas of transport by the downturn in the global economy. What we’re seeing now is a strong positive reaction to that. The fact that so many are considering joint ventures in the coming year suggests an increasingly active sector and a more positive outlook. This accords with what we are seeing in our own practice, with new investment in operating lessors and corporate activity which are less defensive.

“There are undoubtedly some significant regional differences within aviation. For example, confidence is higher in Asia Pacific than in Europe given the stronger economic environment there, and North America seems to be most vociferous in its support for green incentives.”

Copies of the Norton Rose Group Way Ahead Transport Survey 2010 report can be downloaded from www.nortonrose.com from 12 Nov 2010

For further information please contact:

Gavin Collins, public relations manager

+44 (0)20 7444 2466 gavin.collins@nortonrose.com

+44 (0)77 7065 0113