For me, it becomes a bit frightening how fast things are changing. The political situation and technological development define the direction for many areas of our life. If you think for a moment about the passing decade, it will become clear that air travel trends were changing a lot. And lots of people followed them, thus fulfilling the forecasts of all kinds of analysts. In 2010, Airlines didn’t think too much about the environment. Airbnb just began to be popular and while flying to Iceland you could expect at most probability – the wind… not these long queues to see the Geysir. What we can then anticipate ten years later, in 2020?
Becoming more green
If we like it or not our climate is changing. There is a lot of evidence about that and we have to react. You may have doubts about the activities of a young screaming Swedish girl, but you should not have doubts that there are too many cars on our roads. Our homes are being heated in the wrong way and a large plastic island is drifting between Hawaii and California. Unfortunately for our beloved planes, they are also in the crosshairs of eco-activists. Because their participation in the global carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere is quite considerable. The airlines know about that. They are starting to feel it severely and therefore want to change. As a result of these changes we will see these trends:
- Offset programs – which means that part of the proceeds from the sale of tickets is allocated to projects related to the reduction of co2 emissions (e.g. planting trees). I believe at the moment more airlines have launched such a compensation program – than those that are indifferent to him
- Combine transport – using different means of transport is getting more popular. Airlines are signing plenty of contracts with Train operators which allows us to travel to our destination by both: plane and train – using one ticket. That solution aims to cover short distances by railway and using an aircraft for further travel.
- Sustainable packaging – which means replacing plastic bags, forks, spoons, and cups by renewable materials
- Using biofuels – Biofuels are less harmful to the environment. The problem starts when the price comes into play. Production of normal jet kerosene costs between 0,30 to 0,63 USD for a liter. Commercial aviation biofuel costs from 0,70 to 1,60 USD per liter. This difference would have a colossal impact on travel costs. Scandinavian Airlines gives an opportunity for its passengers to decide on which fuel they want to fly and the ticket price increases proportionally. I believe more airlines will go this way in 2020.
- Electric Aircraft – Jetliners are more and more efficient but the electric ones are at the moment the melody of the future. I am more than sure we will certainly hear something about that in 2020 and an event that recently took place in Canada can be proof of that.
Another Technological Leap
I know it from my experience, the pace of technological development is so high that after being offline for a while, without access to any information – you can be quite surprised how the world has changed. So what can we expect in 2020 in this matter:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) – helping airlines to deal with crises such as bad weather or technical issues through the quick calculation for best scheduling solutions.
- Selfie instead of passport – yes…KLM is already testing this solution. You won’t need a passport anymore, instead of that, you will have to show your selfie on a special dedicated mobile app while passing a security check.
- AI handling service – president of Emirates airlines has already claimed that artificial intelligence (robots) will be soon helping in the process of identifying luggage, sorting it and taking out of the aircraft. That would slowly reduce the role of ground staff. If we add to this automated, fully solar or electrical powered vehicles – it will give us an overview of how the airport will look like soon.
Ok, in most popular places like Paris, Rome or Amsterdam it was a knowable problem. But it’s getting worse. According to United Nations stats – in 2030, we’ll have 1.8 billion tourists. That is a 3% increase each year. Let’s say it clear – this means…huge challenges. Pollution, waste management, employee exploitation or plunder of natural resources. This of Air Travel Trends is quite problematic and needs a real solution. I hope that as in the case of Venice – the flood is not the only “reasonable” way to relieve popular cities from tourists.
Sad Social Media Reality
Yes for me it’s sad. Very often the criterion for choosing the purpose of our trip is often limited to this “Instagrammable” factor. That means – what cool pictures we’ll be able to do at the destination and how many like it will generate. In 2020 we can expect a lot of that kind of tourist. Based on KLM stats the guarantee of taking beautiful holiday snaps is a prerequisite for 25.8% of them. People…remember…following Instagram influencer’s voice it’s not the only way to find the desired place to spend your vacation. Use your imagination, read books and be inspired by people with something more than just likes.
I leave the assessment of these Air Travel Trends to you. One thing is certain, 2020 will be another fascinating year with a lot of subjects to discuss. That means a lot of occasions to meet here on my website. I encourage you to follow me on Instagram or Twitter which are my most updated social media channels. I would love to know your opinion about the article and life in general:) meanwhile… you can always read my last post about ATC Crisis and stay tuned!