The recent rise in oil prices, leading to a rise in fuel prices, has hit all our pockets pretty hard, but not as heavy as the aviation sector. A rise in oil prices means the already expensive kerosene (jet fuel) has risen dramatically. This has had a huge effect on the industry as a whole. Price of barrels increased by roughly 12% from 2017 to 2018 and by 30% in the US. Currently, Oil prices sit at $64 per barrel (Statista, 2019).
2018 was a difficult year for airlines and they could expect to see something similar this year.
The big hit has had a domino effect throughout the industry and passed down to customers in the form of increased fares and fewer cheap seats. Rises in ticket prices compared to 2018 can see tickets 10% higher than this time last year. This also means there may be fewer flights on schedules and less budget airline companies due to this increase.
Reasons for this rise in oil prices is partly due to resources slowly running out but also the added tensions between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries. A meeting in mid-2018 caused tensions between China and the USA, in effect, has increased the potential of a trade stand-off. Furthermore, with OPEC’s ongoing supply cut and the lack of investments, the price Petroleum will remain volatile.
What does this mean for aerospace?
The need for new renewable means of transport has never been greater, with oil seemingly running out and the threat of global warming becoming an ever closer concern, new cleaner ways of transport is needed. With this being said, new and innovative ideas have surfaced, Airbus’ solar-powered aircraft, Zephyr S HAPS recently flew for a record 26 days straight!
At Spires engineering, we aim to produce new and innovative ideas that can showcase just that. With our additive manufacturing capabilities and design capabilities, we can look into research and development projects that can have a positive impact on customers and the climate. Our new partnership with Etihad Airways Engineering, state of the art facilities is now available for our team to use to explore better and cleaner means of transport.
Spires capability ranges from small tweaks in design to major projects that push boundaries. Lightening existing aircraft components is a simple but effective way to contribute to this growing concern, a lighter component would have a positive effect on fare prices and efficiency. The lighter the aircraft the less fuel it will use.
To talk to us about the design and engineering of more efficient aerospace solutions call us in the UK – +44 1865 910296 and the US – 001- 612-638- 2920.