The light-sport aircraft market was valued at USD 956.44 million in 2020, and it is anticipated to register a CAGR of 5.4%, to reach a market value of USD 1,311.27 million by 2026.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the civilian demand for sporting activities related to LSA, in 2020. The lockdowns imposed to curb the growth of the pandemic have reduced the tourist inflow to locations that are famous for recreational activities involving the use of LSA. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several LSA operating facilities around the world have been forced to close temporarily and many new development projects have been hammered by tanking economies and cautious investors. Nevertheless, the demand slump is expected to remain short-lived, as the global travel and tourism industry is slowly rebounding, which is anticipated to increase the demand for the LSA activities.
The usage of LSA for sporting and recreational activities has witnessed growth, owing to the growth in the travel and tourism sector and the increase in the number of enthusiasts involved in these activities. Training on LSA is also gaining significance, with the growing need for training pilots globally. On the other hand, major aviation regulatory bodies are working on introducing new regulatory requirements and modifying the existing ones, aimed at supporting the growth of the industry and encouraging new LSA procurements. This is also expected to drive market growth.
Key Market Trends
Airplane Segment Accounted for the Largest Market Share in 2020
Currently, the airplane segment of the market studied has the highest share, as the airplane category of LSAs are the most common in the market and are comparatively cheap, thus making them more preferable for recreational activities, enthusiastic flyers as well for training new pilots. The growth of adventure sports in regions, like North America, Europe, and some parts of the Middle East, is the primary reason for the growth of the airplane segment. On the other hand, the airlines, training Institutes, and aviation authorities have been trying to bring the pilot training and certification costs down. In this regard, the adoption of LSAs is increasing, as they offer a lower cost of procurement and maintenance and lower fuel burn than conventionally used piston or turboprop engine-powered general aviation aircraft. Traditionally, it was observed that the demand for factory-built aircraft was greater than the kit-built ones. However, with the growing ease of building aircraft from kits and the growing information availability to enthusiasts, this trend is fast-changing, and in 2020, kit-built experienced higher registrations compared to factory-built ones. With the growing demand for light airplanes, several manufacturers are introducing newer generation aircraft into the market. For instance, at the start of 2021, Terrafugia announced that FAA granted a special airworthiness certificate for certification of their Transition roadable airplane in the light-sport category (S-LSA), making the vehicle legal for flight. Terrafugia plans to produce and sell initial flight-only versions and will further develop the design, to commercialize the aircraft by 2022. Such developments are expected to drive market growth during the forecast period.
Europe is Expected to be the Largest Market During the Forecast Period
Currently, Europe has the highest market share revenue, and it is expected to continue its domination during the forecast period. The region features several tourist spots and favorable geographies for the activities involving the Light-Sport Aircraft. With the growing adoption of these aircraft, aviation regulatory bodies in the region are introducing new regulations aimed at supporting the growth of the industry and encourage new LSA procurements and operations. In 2020, EASA (the European Safety Agency) started allowing 600 kg ultralights, which are the equivalent of US LSA in Europe. Ultralights that are flying at lower MTOW restrictions will only be able to upgrade their weight class if they are recertified. However, as of mid-2021, some national regulators in Europe were not allowing this recertification while others welcome the change. On the other hand, EASA has also made a concession to allow ultralight (and sailplane) to be used toward PPL SEP (and LAPL license) renewals. This is expected to help the pilots who predominantly fly ultralight aircraft. Several new aircraft manufacturers have initiated operations during the last decade in the region. Hence, many new LSA models have been released recently to cater to the increasing demand. On this note, Flight Design general aviation GmbH has launched the CTLS 2020 Sport Edition in April 2020. The CTLS 2020 features technical and aerodynamic upgrades while also offering improved exteriors and interiors. Such developments are expected to drive the growth of the market in the region during the forecast period.
The light-sport aircraft market is fragmented, with the presence of many local and regional aircraft manufacturers that provide light-sport aircraft models for leisure and flight training markets. Some of the prominent players in the light sport aircraft market are Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam SpA (Tecnam), Cub Crafters Inc., Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd, Zenith Aircraft Company, and Van's Aircraft Inc. The players in the market are introducing new aircraft models and are being certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, among others to expand their geographic presence and sales. For instance, Tecnam received certification under the new German 600kg rules for its P2002 Sierra MkII and P92 Echo MkII light aircraft in February 2020 and November 2020, respectively. The German Type approval is also recognized in other European countries. On the other hand, companies are also investing in the development of new aircraft with the latest propulsion technologies, like hybrid-electric propulsion systems, to further enhance their presence in the market. Such developments are expected to make the market more competitive in the years to come.
- The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
- 3 months of analyst support
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.2 Market Drivers
4.3 Market Restraints
4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
5 MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value - USD million)
5.2.1 North America
5.2.4 Rest of World
6.2 Company Profiles
6.2.1 Costruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM SpA
6.2.2 Pipistrel d.o.o
6.2.3 ICON Aircraft
6.2.4 Cub Crafters Inc.
6.2.5 Czech Aircraft Group SRO
6.2.6 Paradise Aero Industry
6.2.7 Van's Aircraft Inc.
6.2.8 Flight Design General Aviation GmbH
6.2.9 JMB Aircraft s.r.o.
6.2.10 Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd
6.2.11 TL-ULTRALIGHT s.r.o.
6.2.12 American Legend Aircraft Company
6.2.13 Stemme Production GmbH
6.2.14 Aeropro s.r.o.
6.2.15 Zenith Aircraft Company
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Costruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM SpA
- Pipistrel d.o.o
- ICON Aircraft
- Cub Crafters Inc.
- Czech Aircraft Group SRO
- Paradise Aero Industry
- Van's Aircraft Inc.
- Flight Design General Aviation GmbH
- JMB Aircraft s.r.o.
- Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd
- TL-ULTRALIGHT s.r.o.
- American Legend Aircraft Company
- Stemme Production GmbH
- Aeropro s.r.o.
- Zenith Aircraft Company