Roland Berger study: Urban Air Mobility industry will expand significantly

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Roland Berger examined the Urban Air Mobility industry and estimated that the industry will grow significantly in the next decades. “We estimate that there will be up to 160,000 commercial air taxis in the air by 2050. The UAM passenger industry will then generate revenues of almost 90 billion USD per year”- said Manfred Hader the Senior Partner of Roland Berger research group.

Investors are firing up the still young market with huge sums of money. USD 907 million flowed into the industry in the first six months of 2020 – despite the pandemic and the crisis in the aviation industry. This is more than twenty times the amount invested in 2016. At present, around 110 cities and regions around the world are working on solutions in this area, and the number of new players in the market is constantly growing.

At present, according to the authors of the study, there is a trend towards an initial focus on air taxis. EHang is already operating in China, having already taken various passenger drones in its portfolio into the air. The company plans to build 600 air taxis for passenger and cargo transport in 2021.

Two developments are currently giving the industry a boost: firstly, public acceptance of the technology increases with every successful test flight, and with every drone delivery. At the same time, regulatory authorities such as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are seriously addressing the issue, so that legal hurdles should be overcome in the near future.

The study suggests that beside air taxi services, services in the area of maintenance and repair, service offerings in the area of flight operations, physical infrastructure and digital infrastructure will also expand.

Within the ecosystem, various service offerings will also emerge. The Roland Berger experts expect four different business model archetypes with different strategies:

  1. System provider
  2. Service provider
  3. Hardware provider
  4. Ticket broker.

For market participants it is crucial to focus on one segment and one business model in order to be successful in that segment.



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