The aviation industry could save $15 billion a year through connected aircraft

The airline industry could save billions a year as well as tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2035 through connected aircraft according to a study.

The London School of Economics research conducted for connectivity provider Inmarsat, projects that a $15 billion a year in savings and 21.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

This report follows a study last year by LSE for Inmarsat which found that the availability of inflight wifi could boost airline revenue by $30 billion.

The savings and operational benefits would come as a result of efficiencies facilitated by internet connectivity onboard including optimized flight paths offering better air traffic management and reducing fuel burn, live weather updates avoiding disruption, as well as live maintenance updates and safety improvements.

The study suggests that connectivity could also reduce flight delays, cancellations and diversions.

• The forecast cost of the 13% of medical emergencies that result in diversions is $552 million globally. The study suggests that telemedicine, supported by connectivity, could reduce diversions by as much as 75% with the cumulative decrease between 2018 and 2035 saving $10 billion in costs.

• Weather is responsible for 70% of all flight delays and is a contributing factor in 23% of aviation accidents. With improved navigation and by avoiding bad weather with real-time updates airlines could save $1.3 billion.

Connected aircraft would also help airlines cope with a projected increase in capacity demand with passenger numbers expected to nearly double by 2036, according to IATA.

Dr Alexander Grous (B. Ec, MBA, M.Com, MA, PhD.), Department of Media and Communications, LSE and author of Sky High Economics says:

“The forecast doubling of aircraft in the skies by 2035 will create both challenges and opportunities for the global aviation industry. IP-enabled aircraft are an essential step in facilitating growing demand for air travel, while meeting vital safety requirements. The study’s findings highlight not only the powerful commercial efficiencies for airline operations, but crucially, the resulting advantages for safety and environmental impact.”

Frederik van Essen, Senior Vice President, Market and Business Development, Inmarsat Aviation, says:

“This report demonstrates that the connected aircraft is a shrewd commercial decision; unrivaled access to real-time data is reducing airlines’ bottom-line operating costs while reducing emissions and improving safety. Not only that, enhanced connectivity is becoming an operational necessity as our skies become busier. With finite airspace available to accommodate increasing passenger numbers, airlines need to act now and consider the technology and infrastructure they need to future-proof their operations.”

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Marisa Garcia

About the Writer :: Marisa Garcia

Marisa Garcia is the tnooz aviation analyst. She has covered travel technology, design, branding, and strategy for leading publications, including Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, APEX Magazine, AirlineTrends, and Travel+Leisure. She also shares industry insights on her site Flight Chic. Fly with her on Twitter.



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  1. R. Michael Baiada

    Two important facts:

    1. Airlines can have the benefits cited in this article beginning at the first airport within 6 months, and covering the entire US within 3 years. Not in 2035, but in 2018. All of the data, connectivity and software tools are readily available. See –

    2. The root cause of 80% of all airline delays is the airlines themselves. Not weather, not airline schedules, not ATC, not airports, but the airlines. The airline’s “day of” production process is stuck in the 1950s, and neither ATC modernization (NextGen) nor ATC Privatization will make any differ3ence in airline delays. See –

    I would be glad to debate this with anyone.

    R. Michael Baiada
    ATH Group, Inc.
    PO Box 794
    Evergreen, CO 80437
    Tel – (303) 674-0229
    Cell – (303) 521-6047


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