By Carrie Mantey
It’s the end of the year and everyone is making predictions like they’re Nostradamus. As such, Wisconsin Meetings has been collecting and curating some forecasts regarding the airline industry. Please enjoy.
We all know airport security is the worst — juggling your coat, luggage, and clear bag of daily essentials in containers of 100 mL or less, while you remove your laptop, shoes and belt — just so you can get evaluated by a machine on your risk to domestic and international travel. But it sounds like air travel might get simpler in the not-too-distant future.
According to a Forbes article entitled “Is This the End of Taking Liquids and Laptops Out of Your Bag at Airport Security?,” “London Heathrow airport has just invested £50 million in new 3D technology that will speed up the airport security process. Going one step further, the U.K. government has instructed all major British airports to install the technology by 2022.”
Because the 3D technology wouldn’t require passengers to remove laptops or liquids from their luggage to be inspected, not to mention preparing the Ziploc full of trial-size product in the first place, it has the power to disrupt the current airport security model, while lessening disruption to passengers.
The Fight against Flight Shaming
Some environmentalists are embracing the trend of flight shaming, reproaching jetsetters for trading the convenience of flying for the 2 percent of global man-made carbon emissions that come from aviation according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But the airline industry is working really hard to clear its name.
In “Airline Group: We’re Cutting Carbon More than People Know,” an article from the Associated Press, the International Air Transport Association is vowing to achieve carbon-neutral growth in 2020, plus halve its emissions from 2005 by 2050. The association also claims to have improved fuel efficiency by 2.3% between 2009 and 2020, crushing its original goal of 1.5%.
Side note: The first fully electric flight just landed in Canada in early December. Pundits are hoping this achievement can drive more positive change for the aviation industry on the environmental front. For more information, please click here.
The Democratization of Private Planes
TravelPulse says that Delta Air Lines’ subsidiary, Delta Private Jet, is expanding its private plane business by partering with Wheels Up, a private aviation company, to create one of the world’s largest owned and managed fleets of private aircraft. “This groundbreaking partnership will democratize private aviation — making the convenience of private jet travel accessible to more consumers,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement.
More Flight Options in Madison
As of next May, it’s going to be easier than ever to fly from the Wisconsin capital to our nation’s capital. Recently, United announced a twice-daily flight from Dane County Regional Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport. This year-round service not only opens up opportunities to get to Washington, D.C., but “nearly 270 domestic destinations and the more than 30 international locations” from Dulles as well, according to WKOW.
While these efforts, technologies and announcements may not be considered groundbreaking, it’s quite clear that the airline industry is looking to make travel more efficient for people and the environment, while diversifying to stay relevant in a technologically uncertain future.