Acquisition propels Momentum into US$2.7tn aviation sector

Stephen Kuper

Momentum Media Group, the business behind Space Connect, has today acquired leading aviation media assets Australian Aviation and World of Aviation from Aviator Media.

Acquisition propels Momentum into US$2.7tn aviation sector
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The addition of the new aerospace vertical augments Momentum’s already strong suite of products in the interconnected defence and space sectors: Defence Connect (www.defenceconnect.com.au) and Space Connect (www.spaceconnectonline.com.au).

It also provides a bridgehead for the business to expand internationally into Asia-Pacific and beyond.

Australian Aviation has been the trusted source of market intelligence and situational awareness for Australia’s aviation sector since 1977. Throughout the industry globally it is considered the benchmark for long-form aviation journalism.

The brand spans the digital platform, which includes the leading website www.australianaviation.com.au, Australian Aviation podcast, substantive and influential social channels as well as the best-selling 40-year-old Australian Aviation magazine.

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World of Aviation is a newer brand created in 2018 to support the global aviation industry, which is valued at $4.0 trillion (US$2.7 trillion) annually – or 3.6 per cent of global GDP.

It delivers the unique mix of content that Australian Aviation is renowned for to aviators, enthusiasts, industry professionals and the aviation trade across the globe.

The web platform, www.worldofaviation.com, plus complementing social channels, podcast and print magazine form the nucleus of the highly-regarded brand that is expanding rapidly globally.

Momentum is a leading market intelligence and information business for a range of industry sectors, including legal, professional and financial services, real estate, investment, retirement, wealth, defence, national security and space.

According to Phillip Tarrant, director – defence and aerospace at Momentum Media, the expansion into aviation is the realisation of a strategic plan to build a suite of products across the aerospace and defence sectors.

“We identified a number of years ago that the defence and aerospace sectors were under supported in terms of daily market intelligence and business information compared to the other industries in which we operate, and saw an opportunity to enter these markets,” Tarrant said.

“The acquisition of these aviation assets puts us in a comprehensive position to deliver immense value to both the Australian and global aviation sectors as they enter a new decade that will be defined by speed and access to information to make more informed business decisions.

Momentum acquired Defence Connect in late 2016 and subsequently launched Space Connect in November 2018.

Both brands have seen rapid growth, with Defence Connect winning the coveted Business Website of the Year at the 2018 Mumbrella Publish Awards.

“Our initial plan is to bed down these new assets and inject our energies and efforts to amplify their current operations, then seek to expand based on our experiences in the other markets in which we operate,” Tarrant said.

“The defence, space and aviation industries are enormous and of immense value to Australia as well as globally. We’re excited by the opportunity to support stakeholders right across the aviation sector and quickly cement our position as the trusted source of information, market intelligence and situational awareness.”

The domestic aviation industry is valued at over $46 billion (US$31 billion), and adds an additional $18 billion (US$12 billion) to the Australian economy through enabling tourism, business and other trade.

The industry employs 93,000 people directly, servicing 60 million domestic passengers each year and 27 million inbound seats to Australia across 1,930 inbound weekly international flights. International scheduled freight traffic is estimated at over 1 million tonnes each year.

Global commercial airline revenue generates $1.3 trillion (US$872 billion) annually, with over 4.3 billion passengers each year across 38 million scheduled flights. There were 63.3 million metric tonnes of airfreight transported by the aviation sector in 2018.

In terms of GDP, if aviation were a country it would rank 20th by size, similar to the GDP of Switzerland or Argentina.

In transitioning the brands to Momentum, director of Aviator Media Christian “Boo” Boucousis said there wasn’t a better custodian of Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

“These brands are in their ascendency, driven by an aviation sector, both at home and abroad, in need of up-to-the-minute information and intelligence,” Boucousis said.

“Momentum is a forward leaning organisation; they understand the disruptive effect that digital can be in today’s world. Rather than fighting this disruption, Momentum has embraced it and I’m impressed with their deep understanding of community.

“This deal brings high-quality information to the industry, with a focus on enhancing situational awareness across multiple platforms. It also delivers a meeting place to celebrate the successes and the people that also have a passion for aviation and I’m excited to see where Momentum will take things considering their established events business.”

Leveraging his deep understanding of aviation, and a decade serving the Royal Australian Air Force as a fast-jet pilot, Boucousis will continue to support Australian Aviation and World of Aviation as an ambassador, co-host of the podcast and chief pilot.

“My passion for aviation is limitless; as a child I dreamed of flight and I’m very fortunate to have made aviation a lifelong career. After 15 years out of the cockpit, I’m looking forward to reconnecting ‘hands-on’ as a professional pilot,” Boucousis said.

“As an independent publisher, I don’t believe we had the resourcing to do these brands and the industry the justice it deserves. I have the utmost trust in Phillip and his team, and I’m excited to stay connected in a meaningful way with the brands on an ongoing basis.

“I’ve read Australian Aviation all my life, so it’s been a real privilege to have steered these two brands over the last number of years.

“Under Momentum’s leadership, both Australian Aviation and World of Aviation will support the ongoing growth and development of the domestic and global aviation sectors. The organisation’s strategic approach to deliver timely news and detailed insights will secure its place as a valued asset to the industry as it enters an exciting new decade of growth and development.”

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