Business Opportunities in Aircraft Cabin Conversion and Refurbishing

Author: Yann Reber



The need to modify the aircraft interior during its useful life has grown at an unprecedented rate since the last years. For several reasons, airlines and aircraft owners are undertaking the retrofit of their airplanes in a shorter cycle than before. It is here an attempt to investigate this emerging and growing market, and to forecast its evolution for the next 20 years. The volume of each cabin modification scenarios, along with the world distribution of this demand, will be determined. The different level of comfort and amenities among several types of cabins will be investigated and the different modification scenarios will be identified. For each of them, (overall redesign of international cabins, overall redesign of domestic cabins, cabin conversion of aircrafts on operating lease, freighter conversion, VIP cabin modification) the duration of a modification as well as the frequency of the modifications that are undertaken during the entire aircraft life will be determined. Moreover the investigation of the factors which drive the demand for cabin modifications will help to conclude about the future trend. Several aircraft databases, which include the current world fleet as well as the forecasted fleet for the next years, will be used with this information in order to forecast the volume of cabin modifications. The conclusion of this study is reflected in the following numbers: about 38000 cabin redesigns will be undertaken within the next 20 years. There will be also 2500 conversions of jetliners into freighters and 25000 cabin modifications at VIP standards. North American and European markets will have influence but there is a very strong emerging demand from Asian markets. Their big influence on the demand put them at the front rank.