A whole new way to fly
In the past, air travel has mainly focussed on getting people to their destination in the safest and fastest way possible. In the future, however, travelling could be an entirely different experience – integrating different stages of the journey or possibly changing how passengers pay, and making the excursion so enjoyable that passengers may want a trip to last even longer.
Aircraft pod concept
What good are more comfortable, eco-efficient aircraft if the passengers have to spend hours on end in crowded airports? The airports of the future will have to be much more practical than today.
Perhaps taking a plane could become as simple as taking public transportation – using the same style of boarding platforms as for a metro or underground city train. In another scenario, passengers could be pre-seated in cabin pods before the plane actually arrives, ready for integration on the aircraft, saving time and making processing much simpler.
Cruising the sky
Speedier air travel may not suit everyone. A lot of people simply love the experience of being above the clouds and away from it all.
So perhaps the next generation of cruise ships will be in the sky, not the sea, with packages to suit everyone – complete with swimming pools, spas and even golf courses.
And perhaps travellers won't even have to pay for tickets, with the operators making their money from casino revenues, restaurants and other attractions.
Hundreds of flights already take place on popular long-distance routes like from Europe to the U.S., Asia or Australia and there will be a lot more by 2050.
So, instead of operating dozens of separate flights, perhaps airlines could have giant aircraft carriers. Smaller aircraft could dock on them for most of the journey – perhaps using vertical take-off and landing techniques – then be deployed on more localised shuttle service at either end of the trip.
The size of these new-generation aircraft carriers might even open up new possibilities for the type of energy that could be used to power them.
Did you know?
"We surveyed over 10,000 people around the world who will be passengers in 2050 to ask what they want from the aviation industry in the future.
Their message was clear – we need to help as many people as possible share in the benefits that air transport brings, but we need to achieve this while looking after the environment."