The future of flying

The impact of Covid on the airline industry has been beyond turbulent to say the least and we can all clearly see how the industry still hasn’t fully recovered yet.

With less available flights and destinations, high ticket prices, along with considerable delays, daily strikes and chaotic airport experiences, we hope these will soon be a thing of the past.

These complications have the potential to negatively impact our work. As international flights are an integral component to our programs, any misfortune can lead to considerable repercussions on our schedule. The complexity of the current situation lies in the way that flying is simultaneously one of the most important yet currently also the most out of our direct control’s aspects of our work.

Moreover, the rise of a new trend, called “flight shaming”, is an idea set to make people uncomfortable to continue flying, and by so diminish air travel’s allure and societal acceptance.

Airlines have borne the blame for causing damage to the environment. Large aircrafts do indeed consume a heavy load of fossil fuels, but still, they globally only make up for 3% of the world's pollution. Other daily objects and practices, such as computers or driving cars, pollute at a way higher level.

Will we eventually need to break a lance for the aircraft industry? Maybe so, but we believe in science and new technology, and its solutions that will allow us to continue to travel and to expand our horizons in more sustainable ways. Travel is (and dare we say always will be) the best tool to grow, learn and motivate!

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Challenges can be used as opportunities for improvement. Organizations that think creatively and use technology to innovate can ultimately overcome even the seemingly most insurmountable challenges.

The aviation industry has shown its adaptability and resilience. Significant efforts have been made toward aligning with emissions and sustainability objectives and requirements. Just like when they leveraged innovative solutions to safeguard passengers and airports by investments in cutting-edge technologies like biometric systems, particularly facial recognition, to facilitate seamless, contactless passenger travel.

The aviation industry has been addressing environmental concerns, developing new technologies to delve into cleaner cleaner fuel alternatives and harnessing the potential of hydrogen. Airbus, for instance, foresees creating pollution-free planes by 2035. Similarly, Brussels Airlines has committed to drastically reduce pollution by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Individual travelers, too, can play a role by opting for eco-friendly fuel supplements.

One of the most crucial steps to be taken are for governments and big corporations to set up regulations that reduce pollution and stimulate accessibility to different alternatives. There are alternatives to planes. Yet while trains present a greener mode of transport, they remain underutilized due to limited availability and higher costs (sometimes double the price of a plane ticket), as revealed in a study by Greenpeace. Urgent intervention by governments is imperative to level the playing field by granting the train industry the support and incentives as those extended to aviation.

It’s a difficult topic on which a conclusion and consensus have not been reached yet. Still, at our core, we strongly believe that travel embodies a myriad of virtues—it fosters learning, challenges perceptions, enhances communication, encourages study, nurtures understanding, evokes emotions, fuels exploration, sparks discovery, and fosters meaningful connections.

Sources : Forbes, Neste, DeWereldMorgen, Flight Centre