Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Air travel to remain real world wide web

In the approach to Farnborough International Air show (UK), leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus reveals what passengers want from the future of flight: more sustainable; less stressful; and more of it, despite social media revolutionising how we keep in touch.

  • 63% of people worldwide say they will fly more by 2050
  • 60% do not think social media will replace the need to see people face-to-face
  • But 96% believe aircraft will need to be more sustainable or ‘eco-efficient’
  • And almost 40% feel air travel (the door-to-door ‘passenger experience’) is increasingly stressful

Airbus has engaged with more than 1.75 million people worldwide in a two-year consultation that is already shaping what – and how – we will fly in the future.

Airbus is using the feedback to develop its vision of sustainable aviation in 2050 and today unveils new footage of that vision. It is the latest step in the ‘Future by Airbus’ programme which has already given rise to the revolutionary Airbus Concept Plane and radical 100% recyclable Airbus Concept Cabin.

Both gave a glimpse into innovations to meet evolving passenger trends and environmental demands. They include technologies to reduce fuel burn, emissions and noise, with a light-weight ‘intelligent’ body, transparent wall membranes and morphing seats that harvest body heat for power.

But as more people fly more often, the greater their expectations for the ‘end-to-end passenger experience’ will be. The Airbus consultation highlights a somewhat predictable list of gripes: queues at passport control; slow check-in and baggage collection; sitting on the tarmac; and circling overhead.

Such issues have come to the fore in London this summer and, with aviation set to double in the next 15 years, could become more common unless the industry can work together to cut delays.

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