APAC to dominate the advanced air mobility passenger market

30 March 2022 Consultancy.asia 3 min. read
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Once only in the realms of science fiction, advanced air mobility is fast becoming a reality. And according to a study by Rolls-Royce and Roland Berger, the APAC region looks set to lead the pack.

The Asia Pacific region is poised to lead the world when it comes to passenger city aircraft and air taxis, according to a market forecast by global management consulting firm Roland Berger, which contends that APAC could account for more than half of all such operated aircraft and over 40 percent of global revenues by 2050.

By the end of this decade, the firm predicts that several thousand of these so-called vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft will be in operation across the region.

From the global AAM market, the APAC1) region accounts for more than half of all operated VTOL aircraft and for over 40% of revenues

For its study, Roland Berger and Rolls-Royce looked at the passenger segment of the VTOL market, including three use cases for advanced air mobility; on-demand city taxi flights of up to 50 kilometres between any given landing stations; scheduled airport shuttles to various points of the city within a similar range; and scheduled intercity flights on defined routes ranging up to 250 kilometres away.

According to the consultancy’s projections, APAC could by 2050 have over 80,000 advanced air mobility aircraft in operation, or more than half of the world’s stock, with the Americas accounting for a third and Europe just a tenth of the pie.

Due to regional variations in the predominance of use types and differing price points, the Americas though would slightly pip APAC when it comes to revenues, the latter bringing in $37 billion in service revenues for a 41 percent share.

In the shorter term, Roland Berger predicts that some 7,000 passenger VTOLs could be in the world’s skies in less than ten years, with APAC again contributing around half of the global market.

Market forecast shows APAC countries implementing AAM services before 2030 with potential of up to several thousand aircraft

Australia is unlikely to be a first-mover on the implementation side, and will ultimately see its fleet-size dwarfed by other Asian nations, it isn’t necessarily a laggard – with 120 passenger VTOLs expected to be airborne around the country by the end of the decade.

While a Deloitte report from just three years ago suggested the widespread use of passenger VTOLs could still be decades away – with regulatory frameworks, air traffic management, supporting infrastructure, and public safety just some of the hurdles that would need to be overcome alongside the technical challenge – Roland Berger believes these can be readily surmounted through ecosystem-wide partnerships and a sandbox approach to urban testing.

Proponents, like Roland Berger, also point to the array of benefits that commercial VTOL passenger networks would bring, including not in the least a reduced environmental footprint (the majority of VTOLs in development are electric, or eVTOLs) and the easing of roadway congestion. Other advantages include enhanced mobility safety and reliability, added convenience and connectivity, reduced noise pollution, and general time-saving for city commuters.