Back in 2012, young people spent $ 217 billion on travelling. This is good news for the future of the airline industry. The fact that this industry continues to innovate is what sets it apart from all over. Think back 30 years and imagine what air travel was like then. Things have changed radically.
Now think 30 years into the future and the chances are the world of air travel is going to be entirely different. This guide is going to show you five ways in which the next generation of planes could change.
Electric is Coming to Town
Electric cars have already started to gain some traction. Pioneer Elon Musk and his Tesla fleet are already scaring the diesel-powered car industry. But what is the possibility that we could soon see electric planes flying through the air?
The answer is they could be closer than people think. As the need to switch to cleaner fuels becomes more urgent, it’s more and more likely that electric planes will become normal in skies all over the world.
Many of the restrictions, particularly to do with range, are already being addressed. According to statistics from Nicholas Air, even private planes can now go over 500 miles an hour with a range of over 5,000 miles quite easily.
So what is the ETA for this? As of this writing, this is the one thing we don’t know.
Budget Airlines Across the Atlantic
Budget airlines are airlines that allow for cheap air travel. But they are restricted by range. The planes tend to be smaller and they rely on making fast journeys with little luggage in order to make a profit. That prevents them from making flights of more than a few hours.
As flight technology improves, this is something that is likely to change. Ryanair are already working on trying to provide budget air services across the Atlantic Ocean, from Europe to the US and back.
Believe it or not, this is something that is probably going to appear faster than people think. It is already in the testing stage and planes are only going to improve. Only time will tell if this is profitable enough for companies to operate.
Higher Capacity Planes
Airlines are always looking for ways to cram as many people as possible onto planes without breaking flight regulations. There have been many ideas floated, but nothing has ever become concrete. The largest Boeing planes are practically flying rows of houses. And this is a concept that will take hold as planes work on becoming double and triple decker.
There are less crazy ideas, though. Budget airline Ryanair suggested that they could provide standing seats for even lower prices to increase capacity.
The barrier to increasing capacity comes in the form of tightened flight safety regulations.
Australians flying to Europe know the pain of the crossing. This is because the plane they fly out on isn’t the plane they land in Europe in. It must land in Dubai and then passengers face a lengthy layover while they wait on their next flight.
A flight from one side of the world to the next has long been a dream for airlines. And the chances are this is a dream that is about to be fulfilled. New planes are able to carry more fuel and more supplies. One last push and there could be a time where a non-stop flight from the UK to Australia could become possible.
It would reduce much of the hassle experienced by passengers already facing extra-long flights.
This is something that sounds like it comes directly from science fiction, but it’s more practical than you may think. Supersonic technology already exists. Small planes can already achieve incredible speeds. Translating this to large passenger flights has always been a problem.
Regardless of whether full supersonic flight is ever introduced, it is clear that flights will become shorter. It is already happening. It now only takes three or four hours to cross from one side of Europe to the other, for example.
But will these innovations make air travel more expensive?
In the short-term, the new generation of planes is sure to come with high prices. In time these prices will drop and it will not take long for passengers to experience top quality flights for a low price. Within ten years, many of the drawbacks of flights are likely to be a thing of the past.
What innovations are you most excited about?
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