Honeywell Aerospace is seeing a rebound in the business aviation sector from the pandemic and is projecting increased business jet usage this year. The company is confident in recovery in Europe, despite some pockets of challenges. At the same time, it is at the forefront of the drive for greater sustainability in the aviation sector.
“Globally, we’re not seeing purchase plans of new or used jets being postponed due to Covid-19 concerns. In fact, 90 percent of operators in our latest forecast said that Covid hasn’t postponed their plans,” said Ryan Lees, company president for the EMEAI aftermarket. “And in Europe, 19 percent of fleets are expected to see new jet replacements in the next five years alongside a sharp increase in used jet purchase plans. That’s good news for maintenance, repair, and overhaul in the region, too.”
As with other companies, Honeywell (Booth N94) reports increased focus on large-cabin jets, faster speeds, extended range in every class, lower fuel burn, increased comfort and productivity on board, and accurate maintenance costs. “Consumer confidence is growing and pent-up demand for travel is expected to grow throughout 2022, so based on what we are seeing right now I’m feeling bullish about the near-term future for the business aviation sector, including here in EMEA,” added Lees.
Regarding the situation with Ukraine and sanctions, Lees reports that the company has, “suspended substantially all of our sales, distribution, and service activities in Russia and Belarus and remain focused on growth across other parts of EMEA, where we are seeing the market respond well following the headwinds of the past few years.”
A key element of Honeywell’s activities is a focus on sustainability. “It’s at the core of what we do,” said Lees. “We have set our own sustainability target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions across facilities and operations by 2035—we will get there by using many of our own technologies across our operations and facilities around the world.”
The company focuses half of its new product R&D investment on solutions that improve environmental and social outcomes for customers. “We are proud to support industries with their sustainability commitments, from technologies to support the energy transition to battery advancements, to grid management, through to smart building technologies and, of course, more sustainable aviation,” added Lees.
In the aviation field, the development of lighter, more efficient aircraft is gathering pace. Honeywell supports this effort by working on its mechanicals portfolio in particular. It is also focused on more sustainable operations, including more advanced avionics, routing, and air traffic management solutions that can free up airspace capacity to enable more optimal flight paths and reduce aircraft holding.
Sustainable aviation fuel is another area where Honeywell is involved through its UOP business. For example, the Honeywell Green Jet Fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65 to 85 percent compared with petroleum-based fuels, while allowing aircraft to fly farther on less fuel. It can be used as a drop-in replacement requiring no changes to aircraft technology or fuel infrastructure.
The urban air mobility space is also of great interest to Honeywell. “It’s a sector that is going to be an important incubator for sustainable technology that will have a future across the wider aviation sector,” explained Lees. “Already we’re bringing to market solutions like hydrogen fuel cells for the UAM space, enabling greater range than typical battery or gasoline-based propulsion systems. And while the scalability of technology like hydrogen is not there today, I believe it is an exciting glimpse into the future of sustainable aviation.”