Update – January 2015

Announcing A New Event...
Just Before the Summit


The first industry event that explores how airports, airlines, and aviation-related companies can take advantage of the coming tsunami of business between our two nations.

It's August 29, the day before the opening of the Summit… Special registration rates are available to Summit attendees! Details to be announced.

We're Celebrating The 20th Summit!

And We're Back At The Perfect Venue – Las Vegas!

We're excited to announce that the 20th Annual Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit is again being hosted by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority and McCarran International Airport, August 30 – September 1, 2015.

The Summit: The #1 International Aviation Forecast Event

Our Global Aviation Trend Projections and our Airports:USA® enplanement forecasts are a key part of the Summit, as are the forecasts presented by leaders from all areas of the industry.

This year is planned to be even bigger than 2014’s record, when we had the participation from CEOs and executives from American, Southwest, Embraer, A4A, Boeing, Allegiant, Copa, United, JetBlue, Air Berlin, Airbus, Spirit, SkyWest, Mitsubishi, South African, Hawaiian, Japan Airlines, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, Korean, and more. Plus, over sixty airline staff and planners from all over the globe were in attendance, too.


What sets the Summit ahead of other events is that it's all about the bottom line. We dive into tough issues, such as the controversy between airports and airlines regarding US PFCs. Such as the effects of pandemic -related threats to air transportation.

Issue-Involvement. This is a forecast and futurist exploration event. We candidly present hard, independent forecast data and trends. We engage in free and open discussion with key decision-makers from across the industry and the globe. Our attendees have outstanding opportunities to engage in Q&A and interaction.

Examples of some of the hot-button aviation trends we'll be exploring at the Summit are outlined below. But first, we have another announcement to make in conjunction with the Summit…

Come To Las Vegas A Day Early For The First-Ever China-US Aviation Opportunities Symposium


And this year, we are bringing another whole new event to Las Vegas that will be held before the Summit itself: the first US-China Aviation Opportunities Symposium.

Boyd Group International has been working over the past year with its partners to develop this trail-blazing Symposium. So we decided this would be the perfect opportunity – when hundreds of aviation leaders will also be there for the Summit. (More on this below.)

Okay, Examples Of The Trends We're Covering

Oil Prices Are Down. New Fleets & Airline Service Strategies. A Consolidated Airline Industry. Declining Air Service "Reach" In North America. Explosive Growth In Asia. Flat Traffic In The US. New Strategic Opportunities For US Airports… and more.

These are all emerging dynamics that will affect aviation planning – whether it’s a global portal airport, a general aviation facility, a mult-national leasing company, a labor union – whatever – the playing field and the game rules are new. The Summit provides the new playbook.

No other event gets close to delivering new insights and perspectives.

But the Summit goes further…

Let's Look At A Couple of Hot Buttons

At the Summit, everything is up for scrutiny.

Here are just a couple of the new aviation dynamics we'll be looking at – dynamics that all sectors of the industry need to prepare for:

Falling Oil Prices – Benefit, Boon, or Neutral.

We're hearing a lot of conjecture on the effects of $45 – $50 oil prices. We'd point out that this trend – and the oil dynamics we are now seeing - were first outlined at the 2013 International Aviation Forecast Summit, by Ben Brockwell of OPIS.


The situation and the dynamics outlined by Mr. Brockwell two years ago are now in place. But, needless to say, this was contrary to forecasts at the time by the "consensus experts" who tend to “forecast” on the basis of trending the past into the future. But here we are. Oil at under $50 a barrel.

We're hearing all sorts of expectations about the fallout of "low" oil prices. Things such as new airplane orders being cancelled. Or, airlines losing pricing and capacity discipline. Slower retirement of 50-seat jets. Or, more opportunities for new airlines.

At the Summit, we’ll get into real data and real dynamics generated by the new oil environment – and none of them support any of the above veneer projections. There are some wrenching changes in store for some sectors – such as formerly booming oil-patch airports – but it's not airlines or aircraft manufacturers in line for the hit.

Airframe Manufacturers & Suppliers: Production Overcapacity by 2020?


Our Global Airliner Fleet Trend & Demand Forecasts indicate that strong order-books at Airbus, Boeing and Embraer are likely to be joined by a similar situation at Bombardier and Mitsubishi. The immediate future is robust for new airliner demand.

We'll outline this at the Summit. And, we'll have individual forecasts and market projections presented by these manufacturers.

But there is a crossroads for manufacturers roughly eight to ten years out, however. Meeting the immediate (5-10 years out) demand will take a lot of production capacity and a lot of continued capital investment.

But, remember that almost six out of ten of the planes on current order-books are for replacement, not growth. Furthermore, that “growth”- both now and ten years out – is uneven regionally across the globe, and is often in places where economic stability is not necessarily guaranteed.

This brings up issues of whether, once this replacement demand is filled, will there be excess global manufacturing capacity.

This is not an inconsequential point for not only airframe and powerplant manufacturers, but for suppliers, financial institutions, and airport facility planners. We’ll tackle this at the Summit. No other event will even get close.

New Communication Channels Needed For US Rural Areas

It's past time that reality be recognized. In the US, the concept of traditional "air service development" is increasingly obsolete and ineffective.

The flaw is that traditional ASD schemes still assume that, with "best practices" (or some other trendy buzzword), recruiting airline service is just a matter of more studies, aggressive social media, a point-of-ticket-sale analysis, more 20-minute speed-date meetings, another consumer survey, and energetic civic activity.


Today, with only nine full-schedule airlines left, these types of activities are increasingly efforts to "develop" service from an industry that no longer exists.

With the number of full-schedule carriers that are left, a knowledge of each of their strategies identifies where they may and may not find expansion opportunities – it's no longer a grab bag of airlines.

But it's rural America that faces the real challenges. Traditional ASD approaches ignore and too often smokescreen the reality facing small communities: air transportation is no longer economically viable as an access mode for an increasing number of small airports. Too expensive. Not enough traffic. Often less time-effective than alternative airports even with a long drive. The reality is that what many small airports can attract – typically with subsidies – is service that is no longer supportable by consumers.

Having three flights a day – even with a branded carrier to that brand’s hub – often is less time efficient than driving as much as two hours to a larger airport with a wider choice of options, Consumers won’t and can’t make sufficient use of the service at the local airport. And EAS and SCASD programs too often are used to perpetuate the misconceptions surrounding small community local air service, and serve in some cases to distort the marketplace.

These facts are not particularly popular – but time and again they are being proven at local airports across the nation. We saw it at Topeka. And at St. Cloud. At Chico. At Modesto – for starters.

These are vibrant communities. The problem is that air service is no longer an economically-viable nor (factually) a time-efficient mode of access at such local airports. The SkyWest decision to retire 30-seat turboprops is just part of this process. As more 50-seat jets come off lease, more local airports will lose connectivity to the air transportation system.

It's not a projection. It's a mathematical certainty. One we’ll candidly and bluntly explore at the Summit. New communication channels must be developed, and many airports need to strategically reassess their core business models.

Admittedly, this is a political Third Rail. But we’re going to grab it and discuss it at the Summit. There are options, but they involve a lot more than wishful thinking at air service pep rallies, or trying to pass off flights with single-engine airplanes as connective air service.

NextGen – It’s More And More "NextWhen?"

Over the years at the Summit, we’ve done something no other event has dared to do: we’ve openly called out the FAA on the continuing failure to effectively address the air traffic control system.

It's simply a matter of facts: the fact that the program is chronically delayed. The fact that budgets have ballooned. The fact that GAO report after GAO report have illuminated major on-going failures in key areas. The fact that 20% or more of all reporting scheduled flights are materially off schedule – schedules that airlines must pad to accommodate the inefficiencies of the ATC system.

Yes, this is not what “the consensus” is admitting. Other aviation events almost swoon over NextGen, like teenagers at a rock concert, even though the data year after year shows that the NextGen project is like a carrot on a stick – no matter how much money and effort and time and promises, it's still stays way out in the future. But it's trendy to call for more support of NextGen, regardless of the fact that it gets further and further into the future. It's politically-correct to do so.

But the Summit does not allow political correctness to attend.

The China-US Aviation Opportunities Symposium


At past Summits, we've included workshops on the opportunities for companies, airports, and communities represented by the emergence of China as the #1 global economy.

This year, we're cutting new territory in this regard. The China opportunities are now too big for just a Workshop or a 45-minute Summit session.

They need a separate event. And BGI and its partners are delivering it on August 29, the day before the Summit opens. Like the Summit, it’s at the exciting Bellagio, too.

Boyd Group International has been in the planning stages of accomplishing a new event to explore the new possibilities of US-China. We decided that it would be a great adjunct to the Summit.


It's a separate, pre-Summit adjunct event, to see new opportunities as rushmore1the business relationships between the two nations expand.

We'll be bringing together experts to illuminate and explore how the growth in Chinese business investment, and particularly the opportunities in the exploding Chinese tourism and what they represent to communities and airports of all sizes.

What The Symposium Covers…

The growing importance of Chinese airlines in the US-China market:

The airport and community opportunities represented by Chinese investment in the US

Examples of Chinese Investment in the US as templates for other communities and airports

The Chinese leisure market – how US airports of all sizes can attract and benefit

US airline views on China travel and access opportunities.

We'll be outlining more details shortly. But in the meantime, we'd point out that Chinese tourism to the US is very unique – and very explosive. Expected to be over 2 million in 2015, and five times that amount by 2020, it is a tourism segment that has destinational demands unlike anything we've seen in the past.

It's more than just Broadway and Disneyland they want to see. How about Canal Street, Mt. Desert Island, and the River Walk?

They are all in the future Chinese tourism play. But only if the unique expectations and needs of these people are met. Otherwise, they aren't coming – at least not in the near term.

Chinese business is particularly eager to invest in the US, too. US airports are prime targets – if they plan with vision and foresight. Hint: take a hard look at logistical infrastructure and the commercial structure in your region. Then seek out and identify potential emerging targets.

Question: is your airport China-friendly? Are your region's economic development organizations China-ready? We'll discuss what that is, and why it's critically important.

If you can get to Las Vegas a day early, the China-US Aviation Opportunities Symposium will open new perspectives in regard to taking advantage of this emerging dynamic.

The Symposium is a stand-alone event, but Summit attendees will be offered a very special add-on registration rate.

We will be outlining the agenda and the special Symposium registration rates for Summit attendees over the next few weeks.

Forecast & Trend Intelligence You Can Really Use

In wrapping up, the Summit is an investment in the future.

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas.