The aeroengine composites market is anticipated to grow from USD 1.85 billion in 2020 to USD 4.35 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 13.9% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
- The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has severely impacted the entire aviation industry and has resulted in several aircraft operators filing for bankruptcy, which will reduce the demand for aircraft, and in turn, aircraft engines. Reduction in future defense spending may also hamper the future military aircraft procurement plans, as countries are more focused on enhancing healthcare infrastructure. In addition, the shutdown of industries in several countries in H1 2020 halted the manufacturing of components and materials and impacted the supply chain associated with aircraft and engine manufacturing. Situations are expected to stabilize post-2021 but the demand is expected to continue to remain lower than the pre-COVID-19 levels in the near future. - The substantial rise in passenger traffic and the imposition of new emission regulations led to a significant increase in demand for new-generation aircraft purchases over the last decade, prior to the pandemic. Aircraft manufacturers are developing new aircraft models in the commercial, military, and general aviation sectors, which require newer generation engines with better performance and low weight. As a result, the emphasis on newer material technologies like composites is increasing. - With the major engine manufacturers emphasizing on developing their own in-house composite material development capabilities, the dependency on outsourced materials is expected to reduce in the years to come.
Key Market Trends The Commercial Aircraft Segment Held the Highest Market Share in 2020
The commercial aircraft segment accounted for the highest market share in the aeroengine composites market in 2020. One of the main drivers for the market from the commercial sector is the demand for narrowbody aircraft. At the end of December 2020, Airbus reported a backlog of 7,184 jets, of which 88.70% were A220 and A320ceo/neo family narrowbody aircraft. Likewise, Boeing’s backlog was 4,997 aircraft, of which 4,031 were 737 NG/MAX narrowbody jets. For Boeing, 2018 was the best year, in terms of total deliveries. Boeing delivered 806 aircraft in 2018, while Airbus delivered 800 aircraft. However, in 2019, after the two fatal crashes of 737MAX aircraft resulting in the grounding of the aircraft, the deliveries of Boeing took a steep fall in 2019. In 2019, Boeing delivered only 380 commercial aircraft, while Airbus delivered 863 aircraft. In 2020, Embraer delivered 130 aircraft to its customers and had a backlog of 281 aircraft at the end of 2020. On the leap engines that power A320 family of aircraft, along with the upcoming MC-21 and C919 aircraft, composite structures including 3-D woven carbon fiber composite fan blades and fan cases, are being used. Also, Ceramic matrix composites (CMC) are being used to build the turbine shrouds of the engine. Further, many developments regarding the use of composites in commercial aircraft engines are underway. For instance, GE is working on the fourth generation of the composite blade for the GE9X. The new engine is the largest engine manufactured by General Electric Company and is designed exclusively for Boeing’s 777X aircraft. The company has already received several orders and commitments for more than 700 GE9X engines from several airlines like Emirates, Qatar, Etihad, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, British Airways and All Nippon Airways. With the deliveries of these aircraft being higher and the use of composites increasing on the commercial aircraft engines simultaneously, this trend is projected to continue, making the segment grow with a healthy CAGR during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is Expected to be the Fastest Growing Market for Aeroengine Composites During the Forecast Period
In terms of geography, the Asia-Pacific region is now the fastest-growing market for aeroengine composites. The reason for this high growth rate is the increasing procurement of engines that use these composites. In the commercial sector, more than one-third of the commercial aircraft deliveries of two aerospace giants, Airbus SE and The Boeing Company combined, will be to the customers in Asia-Pacific. Recently, in June 2019, AirAsia announced that they are converting an order for 253 A320-200neo to the larger A321-200neo aircraft. Following this, and the purchase of its first A321neo at the start of 2019, AirAsia will become the world’s largest customer of Airbus’ New Engine Option jetliner. The Leap Engines used in the aircraft uses a higher volume of composites compared to its predecessors. IndiGo, a major low-cost airline in the country, announced to bolster its presence in international and domestic markets, in 2019. The airline introduced many domestic and seven new international destinations, in 2019. To further accomplish its presence with global expansion, the airline placed a firm order for 300 A320neo family aircraft, in October 2019. This order includes a mix of A320neo, A321neo, and A321XLR aircraft. India got the delivery of its first fighter jet from Rafale in October 2019 and the remaining 35 aircraft are expected to be delivered by mid-2022. These jets are powered by the Snecma M-88 engines that have nintegrally-bladed compressor disks (blisks), non-polluting combustor, single-crystal high-pressure turbine blades, powder metallurgy disks, ceramic coatings, and composite materials. Likewise, many developments in terms of composites on the aircraft engines procured by the region are expected to make the Asia-Pacific region the fastest growing market in the years to come.
Competitive Landscape GE Aviation, Safran SA, Solvay SA, Meggitt PLC, and Hexcel Corporation are some of the prominent players in the market. Among the engine manufacturers, Safran and GE Aviation generate the highest demand for the aero-engine composites, whereas other manufacturers like Rolls-Royce PLC and Pratt & Whitney (United Technologies Corporation) are expected to increase the volume of composite usage in their engine models in the years to come. Over the years, engine manufacturers have developed significant in-house composite manufacturing capacities. For instance, GE Aviation has its own composites manufacturing facilities in addition to various joint ventures (like Nexcelle with Safran SA). This trend may affect the market revenues of the composite suppliers for the engine OEMs. The usage of the composites is increasing in the aircraft. Along with this, the increase in overall engine production rates means that the forecast period is showing considerable growth impetus for the aeroengine composite part manufacturers and their respective supply chains. Simultaneously, material suppliers will need to expand their raw materials output to stay in the competition, which is currently higher than ever before in the market. Development of composites that can sustain high temperatures in the engine core will play a key role in the forecast period and any improvement in this direction will benefit composite manufacturers greatly.
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