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New SITA Megatrends report says “32% of airlines are investing in UAM”

“Airlines show increased interest in UAM (urban air mobility), with 32% confirming major programs and R&D in UAM services and infrastructure,” according to SITA’s latest Megatrends innovation report. “33% of airlines invest in VTOL integration technologies for airline operations. UAM services and infrastructure are taking off for airports, with 32% confirming major programs and R&D on this front. Furthermore, 57% of airports confirmed major programs and R&D plans for integrating intermodal transport systems for data sharing, with 26% investing in technologies for VTOL integration.

“Increased demand for short-range routes, advances in batteries and electric propulsion systems, and the increasing efforts to reduce aviation’s carbon footprint and operational costs have all contributed to the UAM transportation sector’s impressive growth in 2023. Taking to the air rather than the road may soon be possible in Paris: an electric air taxi service is in the pipeline and could be launched during the 2024 Olympic Games,” said the report.

Investment in the space across all stakeholders (including OEM, infrastructure, and systems) is projected to accelerate from USD5 billion in 2022 to USD28 billion in 2030.

Patrik Svensson Gillstedt, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Growth Enablement, SITA, said: “It’s an exciting time for travel with new technologies transforming our industry at rates previously unseen. While AI is a key example of this, it’s encouraging to see other innovations like UAM, Digital Travel, and intermodal travel also gathering pace.

With the arrival of Generative AI in 2023, technology has surged to the top of airport and airline agendas, with 97% of airlines planning a program to develop the technology.

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