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Amphibious Aircraft Market Slated for $502.02 Million by 2031

Will the Seaplane Rise Again? Some Indicators Point to a Comeback

While the industry as a whole has moved past the romantic old ways of the 'Clipper' as a staple of air travel, amphibious aircraft just might be on their way back to vogue.

Allied Market Research points to a number of developments that could end up bringing back a little of the seaplane's heyday. Increases in tourist spending, defense procurement, and new technology that render amphibious aircraft more affordable could bring the industry back into viability. Small operators like Tailwind have already begun utilizing the classic Cessna 208 to ferry passengers from New York City to Boston or Washington DC, shuttling commuters throughout the Northeast. Advances in electric and hybrid propulsion could slash operating costs even deeper than any previous advance in engine tech, bringing the cost and hassle of saltwater operation back down to earth.

In 2021, Allied Research notes an amphibious aircraft market value of $164.35 million, which should to $502.02 million over the following decade. While the overall sum is still small potatoes compared to the greater world of aviation, it represents a significant niche that could pick up speed and public acceptance faster than expected. The freedom of seaborne passenger operations slashes the need for infrastructural development in many of the world's most popular tourist destinations, providing immense flexibility in scheduling and operation. Even better, with sustainable fuels and electric power, future amphibs could provide air service to coastal regions without any of the ecological downsides associated with traditional fuels.

Allied Research notes the negative impact on the growth of the global aircraft market that 2020 continues to have. Production has only stabilized to any extent in recent months, as manufacturing regains its 2019-era footing once again. Supply chain shortages, labor scarcity, and interruption of raw materials have not completely abated by any means, but are apparently improving. The fixed-wing aircraft segment held the highest share in 2021, accounting for more than 2/3 of the global amphibious aircraft market, and it's likely to continue that leadership with the highest CAGR of 12.6% through 2031. Based on engine type, the turboprop segment accounted for the highest share in 2021, contributing to around 90% of the global amphibious aircraft market, also expected to maintain its revenue lead with an average growth rate of 12.4%. That bodes well for amphibious market, since most commercially viable seaplanes today, like the Cessna Caravan or Twin Otter, boast reliable turboprop power.



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