Is it worth the effort?
When societal needs meet innovation
Traffic flows, city centres in each traffic region and ERFs, Source: AIRBUS
In order to prove the adequacy between High Speed Transport (HST) and societal and market needs, HIKARI performed a market analysis that would set up criteria for the possible profitable development of a future high-speed aircraft.
For HIKARI to estimate the impacts of High Speed Travelling, two major objectives had to be achieved: The first one was to help set some ground rules that will be used as high-level requirements to ensure the viability of a future high-speed aircraft. The second objective was to provide elements to build a future business case and gain public acceptance, by assessing the economic impact (direct and indirect) of high-speed transport.
Within HIKARI, estimation of the demand and operating costs, based on high-level requirements, has been performed in order to provide insights as to the economic viability of high-speed transport. This action fed a second activity, which provided elements to justify the economic interest of high-speed transport and gain public acceptance.
In the first stage, the economic impact has been calculated by the estimation of direct economic benefits of HST. This action had two parts:
- Estimating the value of time saved by passengers shifting from conventional to HST with the passenger type and the purpose of travel as proposed key-search points.
- Estimating the additional value added and the direct economic benefits by the new flights that might take place as a result of shorter journey times, and hence the increase in passenger market volume.
The second stage of this activity would be to take a broader look at the impact that expanded air travel would have on Europe’s longer term economic prospects, and in particular trade and investment links with countries in geographically remote regions with indirect economic benefit (such as the Americas, Asia and Australia). The idea was to combine air transport flows to exports of goods and services, as well as investment flows between country pairs.
The market analysis and high level technical trades have shown that the most promising vehicle to address high speed passenger transport would be a ~14000km range ~ Mach 5 aircraft, with high performance levels to ensure affordable ticket prices. The market capture could then exceed 20% and allow sustainable operations of a worldwide fleet of more than 200 aircrafts by 2040+.
To accompany the market growth and master the risk associated with such a development, an incremental approach is recommended, starting first with a smaller size vehicle (<100 passengers) and progressively moving towards larger aircraft.