1 min read • viewpoint

The ultimate battle in the sky

Arthur D. Little explores the future development of long-haul air travel



Mathieu Blondel



Winning the long-haul battle is key to compete in the up-coming “hyper-consolidation” era

The low-cost model is finally emerging for long-haul flights, and even still being in its infancy, it is raising the question of the economic sustainability and the future of legacy carriers.
Indeed, we observe that the disruption cycle in long-haul travel will be much shorter than in the medium-haul segment where it took 20 years to reshape the industry. Airlines must therefore act quickly and strongly in transforming and positioning themselves to reinvent the long-haul travel experience and its associated business and operating model.


Also, after the struggle for the medium-haul market, the outcome of this “ultimate battle in the sky” will position airlines when it comes to the next era in the industry post the “hypercompetition” era, i.e. the “hyper-consolidation” era.
Keep on succeeding in the long-haul segment will thus enable some airlines to become global industry shapers, some could rather be “hunted pearls” – that will be acquired and maybe disappear, but surely maximize the return for their shareholders thanks to niche leadership or a unique combination of strengths and most of airlines could become “valueless/ commoditized”

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