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Ultralight Aircraft Market: Excessive Spending on Recreation in Developed Economies Fosters Growth

Ultralight Aircraft
Ultralight Aircraft | Tis Meyer

According to the U.S. Federal Aviation Regulation, ultralight aircraft alludes to an aircraft with attributes such as maximum fuel capacity of 5 gallons, maximum empty weights of 254 lbs, and with a single seat that is reserved for the pilot. Although the definition of ultralight aircraft differs from nation to nation, the lightweight and absence of passenger seats have been identified as the classification. For instance, the European guidelines state the maximum seat capacity can be 1 or 2 seats, and countries such as the U.K., Italy, and Germany have a stringent policy in to place that mandates training and license for classes. 

On the other hand, the norms in the U.S. permits people to fly ultra-light aircraft without a mandatory medical certificate and flying licence, thereby making it ideal for flight enthusiasts. This is a major growth attribute to the ultra-light aircraft market as it acts as an affordable way to own a private aircraft. Over the years, demand for ultra-light aircraft markets has been on a rise, especially in affluent regions of Europe and the U.S., accounting for nearly 20% of civil aviation. Unlike commercial and cargo aircrafts, which are targeted at organizations in the aviation space, the market for ultra-light aircrafts is predominantly focused on consumers.

Ultralight aircraft are recognized with different names, such as microlights, ULMs, light-sport aircraft and ultralights, depending on the regulations in a country. In the recent past, the design of ultralight aircraft has gone through numerous transformations and currently stands at the most advanced point, with research and development activities being carried out to further the performance. 

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Manufacturers are focusing on developing fuel-efficient designs to widen their growth prospects. Moreover, manufactures are opting for composite materials, such as carbon fiber composites in production, to enhance over build of the aircraft. Besides, market players are observing the consumer perspective, which is to own a cost-effective aircraft, and are leveraging consumer side factors such as an increase in personal disposable income, simplistic design & ease of use, and rise in recreational & sports spending to spur the sales of ultra light aircraft.

Market Challenges

Major factors that pose a challenge to the growth of the ultralight aircraft market are stringent regulations pertaining to flying license and safety measures. The regulations are fluctuating from country to country and restrict sales of ultra-light aircraft although consumer exhibits interest. This is restraining the growth of the market to a major extent, even in developed economies.

On the other hand, the outbreak of COVID-19 has brought the manufacturing sector to curt termination, thus creating a void between orders and deliverables. The halted productions have paused the growth of the market for the while being, and the downturn in sales will prevail through the pandemic period. The aforementioned factors have cumulatively impacted the growth of the market for the interim with a revemp being expected after the socioeconomic atmosphere realigns with normality. 

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Competitive Landscape of Ultra Light Aircraft Market

The global ultralight aircraft market is segmented into North America (U.S., Canada), Latin America (Mexico. Brazil), Western Europe (Germany, Italy, France, U.K, Spain), Eastern, Europe (Poland, Russia), Asia Pacific (China, India, ASEAN, Australia & New Zealand), Japan, Middle East and Africa (GCC Countries, S. Africa, Northern Africa). Among these regions, North America and Europe are forecasted to collectively account for majority of market share with the later prevailing as the leading regional market for ultra-light aircraft market. 

Europe’s dominance is attributed to excessive spending of recreational & sports activities in countries, such as the U.K., Germany, Italy and France. On the other hand, Asia Pacific holds tremendous growth potential backed by high personal disposable income and rise in leisure activities in countries, such as China, South Korea, and Japan. 

Some of the major players operating in the market include, P&M Aviation, Costruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM S.r.l., Cub Crafters, Inc., Flight, Design GmbH, Quicksilver Aircraft,Jabiru Aircraft Pty. Ltd., American Legend Aircraft Company, Aeropro s.r.o., TARRAGON, and Belite Enterprises LLC.

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