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Air Transport: Generating USD715 million through IoT by tracking aircraft location and providing on-board connectivity to passengers

  • Internet of Things
  • IoT
  • Hyperconnectivity
  • Aeroplanes
  • Aircraft
  • Air Cargo
  • Air Freight
  • Air Travel
  • Cargo Monitoring
  • Charter Flights
  • Connected Vehicles
  • Emissions
  • Flight Management Systems
  • Helicopters
  • High Throughput Satellite (HTS) systems
  • In-flight Wi-Fi
  • In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC)
  • Location Tracking
  • Military Vehicles
  • On-board Connectivity
  • Public Transport
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation
  • Weather Information Services (WIS)
  • Rohan Bansal
  • Matt Arnott
This report provides Transforma Insights’ view on IoT in the Air Transport market. This segment comprises Cargo Aircraft, Public Transport Services – Air, and Other Aircraft.

Report summary

This report provides Transforma Insights’ view on IoT in the Air Transport market. This segment comprises Cargo Aircraft, Public Transport Services – Air, and Other Aircraft.

IoT has been implemented in the aviation industry to benefit both operators and passengers in various ways, smoothing the process of travel and ensuring that cargo reaches its destination safely and on time with minimal emissions. Flight operators are collaborating with communication service providers to provide these connectivity services to aircraft. Most communication is done via satellites, while some also rely on cellular to transmit data using air-to-ground (ATG) connectivity. This option offers a compelling alternative, especially in short-haul and medium-haul flights, by creating a direct link between an aircraft and the ground to provide cellular connectivity, thereby eliminating the delays associated with satellite communications. These solutions themselves are very cost-effective when compared to satellites.

The report provides a detailed definition of the sector, analysis of market development and profiles of the key vendors in the space. It also provides a summary of the current status of adoption and Transforma Insights’ ten-year forecasts for the market. The forecasts include analysis of the number of IoT connections by geography, the technologies used and revenue.

A full set of forecast data, including country-level forecasts, sector breakdowns and public/private network splits, is available through the IoT Forecast tool.

Key market developments in Air Transport Application Group

This section begins with a general discussion of how IoT is being implemented in the aviation industry to benefit operators and passengers in various ways (like ensuring a safe movement of goods and passengers in an efficient, economical, and sustainable manner).

It also discusses how predictive maintenance capabilities provided by implementing IoT solutions in aircraft also make it a compelling technology. For instance, sensors are being deployed on all critical machinery (like landing gear) to allow operators to collect comprehensive data to help analyse the symptoms of aircraft malfunctions.

The report then talks about how various flight operators are collaborating with communication operators to provide connectivity services inside aircraft and the connectivity technologies used (like cellular – via ATG and satellite) and charts the features, advantages (like cost-effectiveness), and disadvantages of ATG (like being unable to connect when travelling above oceans).

The ‘Market development’ section has been further categorised into Cargo Aircraft, Public Transport Services – Air, and Other Aircraft.

Cargo Aircraft

This section of the report begins with some statistics on the volume of goods that are transported via aeroplanes. For instance, in 2021, aeroplanes transported over USD6 trillion worth of goods which accounted for approximately 35% of the world trade by value. It also charts the significant drop in air cargo during the Covid-19 pandemic (like Asia Pacific witnessing a decline of 8.8% in demand in 2022 when compared to 2021) and where the demand for air cargo stands now, compared to the pre-covid level.

It then focuses on the benefits (including monitoring and reporting the condition of sensitive and perishable cargo – including pharmaceutical products in real-time) and the downsides (like sustainability issues) of implementing IoT solutions in aircraft.

Public Transport Services – Air

This section begins with some figures of global air traffic and the associated revenues from them. It also explains how the pandemic affected the industry (the global air traffic reduced by 22.9% in February 2020, 53.1% in March 2020, and 90% in April 2020) and how it is still recovering and trying to reach the pre-pandemic levels.

It then talks about how IoT is being implemented to continuously provide onboard connectivity services to passengers to enhance their travel experience, which, in turn, is helping airlines earn more ancillary revenues. For example, a study by the London School of Economics showed that airlines’ broadband-linked ancillary revenues will reach USD30 billion in 2035, mostly driven by e-commerce and access revenue.

It also considers some of the challenges (like lower efficiency and poor sustainability of flights) which may reduce the potential for the adoption of IoT solutions as consumers become more conscious about the environment.

Other Aircraft

This section of the report focuses on the adoption of IoT in military and private aircraft. It talks about how IoT enables predictive maintenance where the health of critical components of aircraft are continuously monitored by sensors, which enhances overall fleet reliability, prevents unexpected failures, and enables more efficient maintenance scheduling.

It then talks about how IoT can also support the enhancement of mission planning and execution by providing real-time data on various dynamic factors (allowing authorities to make informed decisions at times of war) and for cyber security and threat detection. The report also discusses how IoT enhances the in-flight experience for passengers and crew among private jets (by providing a comfortable and personalised environment) and plays a crucial role in aviation safety by allowing data-driven decision-making.

The report also features some examples of relevant IoT deployments in this Application Group, like SITAONAIR partnering with AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) and CargoLogicAir (CLA) to use IoT-enabled sensors to monitor and report the condition of sensitive and perishable pharmaceutical cargo inside aircraft.

Key vendors for Air Transport

The key vendors section lists some of the main providers of products and services related to the market such as Arviem, Gogo Business Aviation (Intelsat), Honeywell Aerospace, Moment, Panasonic, and Tata Communications. The report provides profiles of the various vendors including aspects most relevant to this Application Group, such as product offerings, pricing, financial results, and technology.

Market forecasts for Air Transport

In the market forecasts section, we provide a summary of the forecasts from the Transforma Insights IoT Forecast Database:


The report charts the growth in the number of devices, which will grow from 401,000 in 2022 to 450,000 in 2032.

Transforma Insights forecasts are compiled on a country-by-country basis. This report includes a regional summary, showing splits between Australasia, Greater China, North America, Europe, Japan, Latin America, MENA, Russia & Central Asia, South East Asia, South Korea, India & South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.


Transforma Insights’ IoT forecasts include splits between the various connectivity technologies as follows: 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G mMTC, 5G non-mMTC, LPWA (non-mMTC), Satellite, Short Range, and Other.

This section discusses which technologies will be used in the air transport application group.


This part of the report discusses the market growth in terms of revenue (module revenue, service wrap revenue, and VAC revenue). Transforma Insights estimates that the revenue in the Air Transport Application Group will reach USD715 million by 2032.

  • AirAsia
  • AirBridgeCargo
  • Air France
  • Air New Zealand
  • Arviem
  • Aviaso
  • British Airways
  • CargoLogicAir
  • Egypt Air
  • Emirates
  • Ericsson
  • Gogo Business Aviation
  • Groupe ADB
  • Honeywell
  • Honeywell Aerospace
  • Hub One
  • Inmarsat
  • Iridium
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Moment
  • Panasonic
  • Tata Communications
  • TrueNorth Avionics
  • Qatar Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Internet of Things
  • Hyperconnectivity
    • Transportation & Storage