An aviation analyst gathers and reviews information pertaining to the overall performance of a particular airline company or the aviation industry as a whole. Airlines and government regulators take this data into account when implementing new safety procedures and developing ways to improve efficiency. Typically, an aviation analyst must have a college degree in aerospace engineering or a pilot’s license.
Analysts employed by airlines are often tasked with measuring efficiency. These individuals calculate how much fuel is used on particular routes and whether fuel costs can be reduced by altering routes or lowering weight loads. An aviation analyst also calculates the average time it takes the ground crew to prepare aircraft for takeoff. Analysts compare information pertaining to a particular airline with data related to the industry as a whole. In many instances, they are asked to identify issues that cause delays and to make recommendations for improving overall efficiency.
Both regulatory authorities and individual airlines employ analysts to review safety information pertaining to various types of aircraft. Regulatory analysts can alert authorities when the safety records of particular airlines fall below minimum industry standards. An aviation analyst employed by a particular airline must attempt to identify potential safety issues before these problems lead to widespread and potentially life-threatening incidents. Investigations into airline crashes often begin with analysts using statistical data to show that certain types of aircraft are more likely to be involved in crashes than others.
Aside from efficiency and safety related reports, an aviation analyst may also review data related to ticket sales and passenger volume. An analyst employed by a particular firm may work with a marketing company to conduct research to find out the causes for increases and decreases in airline traffic. If a company is considering raising ticket prices, an analyst may be asked to prepare a report predicting the probable impact that ticket hikes would have on sales. Typically, analysts use information pertaining to past sales to make predictions about future traffic volumes. Additionally, analysts must take into account general economic factors such as recessions or periods of inflation and the impact that these economic conditions can have on the airline industry.
Generally, an aviation analyst must have a background as a pilot or an aviation related degree because knowledge of aircraft is essential for anyone preparing a report that relates to mechanical or safety issues. Analysts primarily concerned with the financial performance of an airline or the industry as a whole are normally individuals who have college degrees in economics, finance or accounting. Since some analysts review data pertaining to all aspects of the industry, many analysts have both a background in aviation and finance.