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International Airlines

International Airlines

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Executive summary

Demand for the International Airlines industry has experienced significant volatility over the five years to 2022. In the beginning of the current period, mounting competition from foreign competitors and chronic overcapacity within the industry's cargo transportation segment have forced industry operators to slash ticket prices and reduce freight shipping rates, causing industry revenue to decline. Unprecedented disruptions from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic generated the most substantial revenue decline in industry history. As global economies and health recover, pent-up consumer demand is anticipated to drive industry recovery towards the end of the period. Overall, industry revenue has decreased at an annualized rate of 1.2% to $50.3 billion over the five years to 2022, including an increase of 58.0% in 2022 alone.
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Each report includes:

industry revenue;

industry profit;

industry margin;

industry employment;

industry major players;

industry key external drivers;

industry product & structure segmentation;

industry key trends;

industry Life Cycle;

industry Geographic Breakdown;

industry Key Success Factors;

industry Key statistics for previous years;

forecast of industry Key statistics for the next 5 years;

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Reference Wordlist

High barriers to entry mean that new companies struggle to enter an industry, while low barriers mean it is easy for new companies to enter an industry.

Compares the amount of money spent on capital (plant, machinery and equipment) with that spent on labor.
IBISWorld uses the ratio of depreciation to wages as a proxy for capital intensity. High capital intensity is more than $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; medium is $0.125 to $0.333 of capital to $1 of labor; low is less than $0.125 of capital for every $1 of labor.

The dollar figures in the Key Statistics table, including forecasts, are adjusted for inflation using the current year (i.e. year published) as the base year. This removes the impact of changes in the purchasing power of the dollar, leaving only the "real" growth or decline in industry metrics. The inflation adjustments in IBISWorld’s reports are made using the US Bureau of Economic Analysis’ implicit GDP price deflator.

Spending on industry goods and services within the United States, regardless of their country of origin. It is derived by adding imports to industry revenue, and then subtracting exports.

The number of permanent, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees, working proprietors, partners, managers and executives within the industry.

Colloquial Terminology

Goods or produce transported, generally for commercial gain.

An agreement between two airlines to share the same flight; a seat can be purchased on one airline but is actually operated by a cooperating airline under a different flight number or code.

The ratio of the lift on an aircraft to the weight of the aircraft.

An international agreement under which two or more countries permit unrestricted overflight and landing rights to one another.


As a result of health and safety mandates precipitated by the coronavirus, international tourism from both US and non-US residents declined substantially. The distribution and efficacy of vaccines and boosters enabled industry revenue to rebound driven by consumer demand. Industry profit has also declined over the past five years. The industry is dominated by a small pool of large, multinational, enterprises. Thus, significant operating losses experienced by these companies has reduced industry profit overall. Nonetheless, three rounds of government assistance in the form of pointed stimulus funding have provided some relief in subsequent months, but industry performance is primarily dependent on public perception of travel safety and government response in the form of travel restrictions, which remains uncertain in light of continued coronavirus outbreaks.

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