Rodrigo CañedoLead Designer
Nobody can resist the changes we experience daily. The airline industry knows it and they are starting to respond to the great challenges they are facing. How are the future aircrafts going to be?
#The tubular world
The tubular structure is here to stay for at least 30 years ahead, so the industry will have to get creative to enable larger passenger density in the same space. We have witnessed several solutions that address this issue such as double deck in a single cabin or seat stools. This solutions might seem far away but fuel prices will raise in time and the airplanes are not getting any bigger so don’t be surprised if any of these solutions become a reality.
#Personalized & memorable experiences
With the aircraft architecture as a main limitation, airlines will need to compensate with a great experience, more customized towards each passenger and more flexible. Technology will be a key player in this improved experience enabling the customer to design its own experience prior to the flight: ife, meals, details…Same way you plan your trip, you can arrange your flight configuration. We are already seeing some examples of these: Latam"s Ownflight magazine.
According to Apex, 75% of millennials value experience over material objects.
#Flexible & comfortable solutions
Another key point in this ideal experience will be the cabin space and seats, which will become more flexible, allowing the passengers to work, rest & play at any time. Expect to see the latest technologies and full connectivity with all devices. New comfort technologies such as aromatherapy or light therapy will be included to help the passengers cope with the long trips. The seat will be treated as the passenger´s reign, a cocoon of peace with everything at the reach of their fingertips.
#Towards fly sharing
Sharing services like Uber Chopper, will take a small piece of the pie, serving as a usual flight force for short medium range flights. These services have the flexibility passengers demand from the airlines, these services will pressure airlines and transform the industry, as it has happen with ground transportation. Expect to see some serious changes, reselling your ticket or extra awesome last minute deals could become a reality.
It is a fact that engines are getting more efficient, fuel prices are raising in the long run and e-technologies boiling in parallel sectors (automotive). Sometime in the next few years, we should see a switch towards green energy in the aircraft industry. Although now it is at a pioneering stage, for example: Solarimpulse, it should become a reality in the next 50 years. This technology leap will be accompanied by a change in the aircraft architecture, larger and wider cabins with unusual shapes that will allow for larger passenger density and less energy consumption. We have already seen great concepts by Airbus or Nasa with unorthodox shapes.
As a highly competitive industry that hasn’t changed a lot in the past few years, It will be exciting to see all the changes this exterior elements impose in the aircraft industry.