Services superpower: How the aviation industry supports fast growing export sectors

Published: June 2024

Aviation is a significant economic contributor to the UK. Prior to the pandemic, it created 1.6 million jobs and contributed £120 billion in GVA to the UK economy. However, that pales in comparison to the role of the sector as a strategic enabler for the wider economy.

We looked at 10 traditional sectors, mostly at two-digit SIC code level, and four newer, emerging sectors. We found that traditional sectors reliant on air connectivity are, taken together, projected to grow faster than the economy as a whole. In the 10 years to 2033, these sectors are projected to see nominal-terms GVA growth of 46%, compared to GVA growth of 44% for the economy as a whole. This is an important difference: it represents £10.6 billion more added to the economy in that timeframe than if those sectors grew in line with the rest of the economy.

The report concludes that the UK’s status as an island trading nation, harnessing growth in key sectors and creating a successful future for international connectivity are all interlinked. The UK must harness the opportunity to become a services superpower and capture the economic value available from going further and faster in the decarbonisation of aviation.