The global aviation sector is projected to lose $318 billion in annual value if the current downturn persists in the long term.
The prediction is a key finding in an analysis of the impact on spending habits and business from management consultancy giant Accenture.
The Big Value Shift Report concludes that with the pandemic driving consumer spending from home there could be a total shift of $3 trillion in economic value between sectors.
Accenture predicts more than $2 trillion of annual value may shift away from industries such as restaurants, traditional retail and commercial real estate.
It also finds changes in spending may cause a net decline of up to $687 billion in annual value across consumer-facing industries.
And if current declines in air travel persist into a longer-term trend, up to $318 billion of annual value will flow to different industries.
Kathleen O’Reilly, global lead of Accenture Strategy, said: “Ripple effects of today’s changing consumer behaviors are causing waves that will reshape industries and their ecosystems.
“Companies must be ready — with responsive business models, technology-enabled operating models that are agile, and a growth mindset rooted in data and advanced analytics — to uncover new value and better meet customer demands as this wave of change approaches their industry.”
According to the latest Accenture Consumer Pulse survey, 73% of respondents expect to feel most comfortable spending their free time at home over the next six months.
Oliver Wright, global lead of Accenture’s consumer goods and services industry group, said:
“The crisis has forced an uncomfortable reckoning for many brands — but, handled wisely, this will result in new ways of doing business that deliver better experiences for consumers and growth for organisations.
“Before Covid-19, in-store shopping was, for most companies, the only ‘game in town’ with e-commerce and digital marketing an afterthought.
“The companies that fully integrate enjoyable and efficient digital and physical experiences that deliver faster, more convenient services will be the winners in the future.”
Accenture said suppressed demand for air travel has had a “profound impact on the travel ecosystem from airlines and airports to aircraft manufacturers”.
This is having a knock-on impact on hotel chains, energy, and resources companies with data suggesting that business travel will be one of the last segments to recover.
Some of this value is likely to migrate to sectors like domestic tourism, digital entertainment and outdoor recreation, as consumers use their leisure time differently, Accenture predicted.
Emily Weiss, global lead of Accenture’s travel industry group, said: “Fundamental changes in behaviour, including heavily reduced air travel and consumer discomfort in public spaces, creates opportunity in other areas.
“Companies need to innovate to drive new revenue streams and look at their ecosystem partnerships to offer value-added services that cater to new ways of working and the health-conscious consumer.
“For example, the hospitality sector can leverage existing assets to provide hotel rooms for day rates so people can work away from home, but still in a safe space.
“Critically, these efforts could also become a permanent and profitable avenue for growth in the post-pandemic era.”
The Big Value Shift report “quantifies the impact of long-term changing consumer behaviours and provides insights for companies to build strategies to thrive in the face of disruption”.
It uses a proprietary macroeconomic model incorporating data from 38,000 companies across 25 industries, as well as household spending data for 15 countries that account for approximately 80% of global GDP.
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