The Future of Air Travel

Due to technological progressions in the aviation industry, there will be many ways to travel. The focus will not just be on getting passengers from point A to B in the safest, fastest and most convenient way possible, but also on ensuring that they have the best possible flying experience.

Today a journey that involves a three hour flight can typically take six hours, given the passengers have to arrive way in advance before boarding and arrival can also be time consuming. In the next decades, an air travel journey could take just under three hours (whatever the distance) as aircraft manufacturers are redefining the way people fly by integrating different stages of the journey, whether it is for a work commute or a vacation.

In order to meet future passenger’s expectations, airline industries have started creating customer profiles to anticipate their needs. By middle of this century, passengers will see changes aimed at improving their journey.

Leave a comment: How can airliners make your flying experience more memorable?

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

The Future of Commercial Passenger Planes

The future air travel passenger will – among other things – demand greener aircrafts and a choice between speed and comfort. Therefore the passenger cabin of the future is going to look quite different than what we know today – for example it might have a panoramic view. Alex Becker, Trend Research & Market Intelligence Manager, talks about what the passenger plane will look like in the future and the key technologies that enable the “concept cabin”.

Who are future air travel passengers and what are their needs and expectations?

We surveyed over 10,000 people from around the world who will be passengers in 2050 to ask them very simply, what they wanted from aviation in the future. The answer was clear – people will travel more, but not at any cost. People generally like flying – but we know that:

• 37 percent think that air travel is getting more stressful

• 51 percent of the global population think that more should be done to enable airlines to offer more flights

• 32 percent think that delays and late arrivals is the most annoying thing about flying

People want greener aircraft, they want access to their ‘digital world’ in flight, and choice between speed and comfort.

The future passenger will need a more active health and wellbeing promotion, will be more connected and used to travelling in a multi-interface environment. He will request seamless productivity along the travelling chain as well as efficient and smart differentiation.

Do we already have the technologies and innovations to meet the needs of future air travel passengers? Can you give us some examples?

Passengers in the future will not be tied to dedicated cabin classes, but are looking for smart differentiation elements that exactly meet their dedicated needs. The “concept cabin” we developed is highlighting one potential solution to this need for smart differentiation.

The core element for the future vision is a move away from strictly separated cabin class definitions to more value-based cabin zones that are driven by functional and emotional passenger needs.

In order to enhance the travel experience, the panoramic view is one of the features that can change the future travel. The panoramic view is essentially enabled by the futuristic bionic structure of the aircraft.

The bionic principles are already integrated into manufacturing processes today and smaller elements like bionic brackets already exist and are currently being tested. The bionic structure follows the core philosophy of the concept cabin: a travel experience inspired by nature. So by looking at logic and algorithm from nature we are able to transform the future travel experience.

Whereas the bionic and 3D printing elements are already pretty far developed, what remains to be seen is how this large area of an aircraft can be made transparent. Elements might include graphene or transparent carbon fibre reinforced plastics, but these developments are in the early steps. Interestingly, virtual reality applications are picking up quickly, and an airline recently provided first class passengers with virtual reality glasses.




What will the future passenger plane and the cabin look like in the next decades?

The future aircraft will incorporate technology delivering passengers an experience centred along their mobility needs – creating seamless, personalised travel and innovations that will increase efficiency and profit maximisation for airlines.

Acting as a central node gathering and sharing big data, we see the aircraft ‘talking’ to numerous objects/devices (automated vehicles, hotels, passenger devices, air traffic control, other aircraft, a/c services) and that via deep learning and artificial intelligence will use the information to personalise travel for passengers and create efficiencies for airlines.

With the intelligent, information gathering node, aircraft will morph and re-configure utilising smart robotics, kinetic architecture, bionics and collective intelligence.

Similar to today, the cabin of the future needs to balance comfort needs of the passenger with efficiency needs for the airlines. In our concept cabin, the vitalizing zone addresses the comfort element and uses sensors to address the growing need for active health promotion among passenger, and particularly increasingly older passengers.

The smart tech zone addresses the efficiency and flexibility need of the airlines in that the layout optimally adjusts to the booking pattern in real time. Furthermore, the seat can morph to the actual body shape of the passenger.

What are your expectations of the future airplane and passenger cabin? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

Green Aircraft and Their Impact on the Aviation Industry

The aircraft of the future is environment-friendly – but aviation is a global industry and several players have to work together to make green aircraft a reality. In our interview, Alex Becker, Trend Research & Market Intelligence Manager, talks about the most important factors of making air travel more sustainable and about the impact this future aircraft will have on infrastructure, environment and society as well as the aviation industry itself.

How will the future aircraft impact the infrastructure, environment and society?

We need to help as many people as possible to have a share in the benefits that air transport brings, but we need to achieve this while looking after the environment – this can be anything from energy sources and air traffic management to new aircraft designs and integrated transport networks.

For society, there are clear economic and social benefits in having a successful aviation sector. Aviation is an invaluable global asset, the cornerstone of global commerce. Safeguarding its myriad economic and societal benefits is crucial (contributes US$ 580bn (8%) of European GDP, supports 33 million jobs globally).

What are the important factors required to make air travel more sustainable?

Aviation is a global industry necessitating global solutions. We believe that its environmental performance can only be improved if the various players – including airlines, government agencies, air traffic management (ATM) organisations and engine manufacturers – work together in order to develop and implement the best and most efficient, solutions worldwide.

The right combination of technology and talent – along with the right investment, support and cooperation – can make this happen.

The industry has also set up sustainable roadmaps with clear targets. Carbon neutral growth by 2020 for example – or on a further horizon the Flightpath “2050”, the European Aviation Vision – is an aspirational roadmap for the industry with a significant commitment to cutting emissions (CO2 by 75%, NOx by 90% and noise by 65%).

A combination of public and private investments will be required to achieve the goals, both in terms of infrastructure development and technology research.

We are working proactively with partners across the industry – airlines and manufacturers, air navigation providers and airports, to reduce that impact even further and allow aviation to continue to grow in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way.

How will this future aircraft impact the aviation industry?

The technology used by future aircraft such as Internet of Things, hyper-connectivity, or the use of big data will revolutionize the way aircraft are operated.

The aircraft of tomorrow will connect to:

– the passengers in order to provide them with a seamless experience since the very early stage of travel booking,

– other aircraft in order to optimize flight time, flight path, and to allow formation flight. The aircraft will be a node in the connected network.

– the ground: aircraft will ‘talk’ to service devices on the ground, offering immediate servicing and meeting passenger needs.

We have also imagined totally new ways of operating the aircraft: our concepts encompass assisted take-offs using renewably powered propelled acceleration, aircraft in free flight and formation along ‘express skyways’, free-glide approaches and landings and autonomous renewably powered taxiing carriage.

The impact of the future aviation will lead to restructuring the way the passengers gather at airports, clearly revolutionizing other transport modes and related infrastructure.

Leave a comment: What impact will the future of aviation have on you and your travel habits?

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

The Future of Air Transportation Industry

As the air transportation industry continues to grow, the sector is concentrating on providing innovative solutions to meet the emerging needs of future air travel passengers and market demands. They are also addressing issues concerning costs, safety, security and environmental impacts. New technological advances are creating many possible futures to make the civil aviation industry more sustainable.

Today, civil aviation accounts for about two percent of total global CO2 emissions and about twelve percent of the CO2 emissions from all transportation sources. The industry aims to halve carbon emissions by 2050. So, tomorrow’s aviation industry depends on the solutions it finds to the energy problems.

The industry’s focus on technological innovations, sustainable aviation fuels, efficient infrastructure, effective operations like shortening flight paths and positive economic measures should contribute to reducing carbon emissions. The industry is working in partnership with governments and representatives from manufacturers, airlines, airports and air traffic control to make the civil aviation industry more sustainable.

What is more important for you: the flying journey or reaching the destination? Tell us your reasons in our comment section.

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

The Future of Passenger Aircraft Cabins

Passenger comfort has always been a major aircraft cabin design consideration as it plays a vital part of the passenger experience. Cabin designers are focusing not only on enhancing the overall cabin ambience and experience, but also on making cabins more ecological. So, what awaits us on a plane cabin in the next decades?

According to a survey conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, participants said that they want future air travel to be more sustainable, less stressful, cheaper, greener and more fun. Hence, it becomes increasingly important for engineers to consider every aspect of the passenger’s journey from check-in to in-flight experience to reaching their final destination.

To address the future passenger experience and to meet unique needs of every passenger, engineers are constantly working on new innovations from recyclable plant fiber seats that mold to passenger’s body shape to the holographic technology that can turn passenger’s private cabins into different landscapes. Their main aim is to provide a “tailor-made experience” to passengers.

Leave a comment: What kind of inflight services do you want in the near future? Why?

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.