The global fixed-base operator market is expected to grow from US$ 25,194.55 million in 2022 to US$ 37,177.46 million by 2028; it is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2022 to 2028.
The fixed-base operators (FBO) offer a diversified range of services such as hangaring, fuelling, flight instructions, aircraft maintenance, and aircraft rental. Of these, fuelling is the highest revenue generating segments in the fixed-base operator market. FBOs across the world offer fuelling services of AVGAS to the piston engine aircraft and/or Jet Fuel to the turbine-powered aircraft. The fuelling services involve selling fuel to plane owners as well as offering them places to park their planes. Since, the business aviation sector has been growing strongly over the past few years (pre-COVID), the demand for fuelling service provider also surged. In addition, several FBOs in the current scenario are offering Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as a strategy to help the general aviation jet operators to reduce carbon footprint. The distribution of SAF among in the fixed-base operator market aimed at improving their services and attract customers. Signature Aviation and Atlantic Aviation are among the leading FBOs offering SAF to their customers. The growing attraction towards SAF among the FBOs is analyzed to understand the future of the market and has been one of the crucial driving parameters for the fixed-base operator market.
The rising demand for business and private jets, including both small and large aircraft, is one of the significant factors driving the business growth of hangaring service providers. The steady rise in general aviation air traffic has created a need for new general aviation aircraft fleet with higher seating capacity. The general aviation aircraft OEMs are also focusing on the development of new-generation aircraft with reduced fuel consumption, large size, and low noise and carbon emissions. As a result, the demand for hangars has increased in the fixed-base operator market. The design of aircraft hangars has also undergone significant changes to suit the changing aircraft sizes and technologies, with modern aircraft hangars being fitted with temperature control and security devices. As per Jet Aviation, one of the prominent FBO service providers, the requirement of new and larger hangars was first sensed in APAC, and the company is already expanding its capacity of providing hangaring services in different countries, such as Singapore. At other locations, the FBOs are focusing on the expansion of the hangar size, owing to overcapacity situations, and some are patiently waiting for the announcement of revised National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 409 code, related to aviation hangars. Thus, the trend of constructing large hangars to cater to the growing number of large general aviation aircraft fleet is a key trend that would support the growth of fixed-base operator market size in the near future.
With the rising issues of shortage of staffs coupled with low overall unemployment rates have led to a tight labor market. With the procurement of advanced technologies, the ground handlers are focusing on upgrading their equipment to be competent with technologically upgraded aircraft. Moreover, FBOs need to train their staff to make them capable of handling such high-tech equipment. The need for skilled professionals to offer FBO service is monumental, due to lack of skilled personnel, the industry growth is barred. In addition, the cost of training is quite high, which also hampers the fixed-base operator market growth, specifically in the developing or cost-sensitive economies. Thus, the increasing cost of fuel and maintenance services offered by the FBOs as well as the shortage of well-trained staff are also restraining the fixed-base operator market growth.
Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Fixed-Base Operator Market
Owing to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in fuel prices and the decline in number of flights in 2020 and so far, 2021 showcased significant negative impact on the market globally. The constant decrease in the aviation market globally due to this pandemic has made several FBOs to cut their operational costs and laying off employees. To sustain through the pandemic, the FBO service providers have taken an array of initiatives including business expansion to different geographies and partnering with other FBOs or ground handling companies. These initiatives have facilitated several fixed-base operator market players to continue their business.
The overall fixed-base operator market size has been derived using both primary and secondary sources. To begin the research process, exhaustive secondary research has been conducted using internal and external sources to obtain qualitative and quantitative information related to the market. The process also serves the purpose of obtaining an overview and forecast for the market with respect to all the segments. It also provides the overview and forecast for the global fixed-base operator market based on all the segmentation provided with respect to five major regions-North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and South America. Also, primary interviews were conducted with industry participants and commentators to validate data and gain more analytical insights into the topic. The participants of this process include industry experts such as VPs, business development managers, market intelligence managers, and national sales managers, along with external consultants such as valuation experts, research analysts, and key opinion leaders, specializing in the fixed-base operator market. A few major players operating in the fixed-base operator market are Avemex SA De CV; Deer Jet; dnata Corporation; Jet Aviation (a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation); Jetex; Luxaviation; Signature Aviation; Swissport International AG; ExecuJet; Atlantic Aviation; Universal Aviation; and Abilene Aero Inc. Some of the recent developments of the above-mentioned fixed-base operator market players include -
- In March 2022, Signature Aviation signed an agreement to acquire TAC Air and its 14 FBO units across different locations in the US.
- In August 2022, Universal Aviation expanded its FBO service in Guatemala and Paraguay
- In 2021, Jet Aviation, a part of General Dynamics Corp., had acquired ExecuJet's Zurich FBO and Hangar operations and Luxaviation's Swiss Aircraft Management and Charter Divisions