aviation industry

We live in an era where saving time is more important than saving money. Perhaps that is why air transport, which was previously reserved only for the extremely taxpayer or for emergencies, is now used on a par with its competitors, that is, rail and road transport. The number of passengers flying has increased several times in the last two decades, and the count continues to rise. A few decades ago, only the mature, developed and rich nations like the United States, the countries of Europe, Japan, Singapore, etc. they were the ones that had air connectivity with the main national cities and also with international destinations. But now, the number of countries connected to each other by air has increased dramatically, and it didn’t stop there. National air connectivity has also exploded, connecting many cities in many different countries. Not only the developed and rich nations, but also the developing countries like China, India and Brazil etc. they have gained a lot due to the increasing air connectivity. Not only has connectivity improved, but it has also improved the experience of traveling by plane. Let’s take a look at the aspects that have changed significantly in the last decades.

Travel time
Air travel, which has been the fastest means of transportation since its inception, has gotten even faster over time. The flight from the Australian subcontinent to London was, and still is, one of the longest known flights. In the late 1950s, Qantas Airways of Australia connected the cities of Sydney and London. The trip then was a 4 day journey with a whopping 55 hours in the air and the flight touching down at six locations plus Sydney and London. The airline still operates between the countries but in a different way. The 2018 New Kangaroo Route, as Qantas Airways calls it, connects Perth to London without stopping or landing anywhere else. The journey now only takes 17 hours in the air, covering more than 9,000 air miles in a single takeoff.

It’s not even the longest time in the air or the longest distance traveled in a single takeoff. As aircraft became increasingly efficient and technologically advanced, flights with even longer air times and trips became possible. Another Qatar Airlines venture between Auckland and Doha is now the longest flight, covering a staggering 9,025 miles in a single run (or flight) that lasts 16 to 18 hours in the air. Imagine the passengers clinging to their seats for so long!

food on board
There’s a reason the first period of flight was dubbed the “Golden Age” of flight. Because the price that the passengers then paid for the trip was offset by the food and drinks served during the trip. But the airlines had their own set of problems to deal with. Flyers of the early 1920s had to deal with weight issues when there were instances of passengers being weighed before boarding. The same rule applied to food, which restricted the amount of food that was transported to heaven. As airplanes got better and trips got longer, the food got better and hotter. Food was more than just an essential element for survival. Early 1930s flights had galleys, which could provide a hot meal, and a dining room where passengers gathered and feasted in the air. Then, in the 1940s, came the era of frozen food, whereby a variety of meals were served in the sky. As the aircraft grew larger, the number of passengers flying increased, as did the storage spaces for airborne meals. But now, personalization has become important, compared to offering unified exotic meals across the entire group of passengers. Currently, airlines allow passengers to order food of their choice before boarding, which would be delivered directly to their seats. For example, iFLEAT, is a mobile device-based service that delivers food ordered by the passenger in a restaurant, directly to their seats. The service is now associated with Air Berlin and plans to partner with more airlines in the future. While inflight caterers will feel the impact of this service, it is a win-win situation for the passenger, as they get the food they choose to eat, as well as for the airlines, as they are likely to be able to retain their customers by allowing them to do what they love.

Entertainment and connectivity on board
A recent survey of airline passengers indicated that Wi-Fi was more important than food for passengers traveling by plane. This shows how connected people are to the Internet. And even airlines are trying to retain existing customers and attract more customers by providing them with entertainment and connectivity. Many airlines are already offering Wi-Fi on at least some of their flights, but travelers have to purchase the service. Airlines provide free internet access only to first class travelers. Big names in the aviation industry like Etihad, Finnair, Lufthansa, etc. provide internet access in all or part of its fleet, but at a cost to the passenger. On the other hand, there are some others like Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, etc. that provide free Wi-Fi access to their passengers. There are many travelers praying for this to happen on all airlines, and I hope it happens soon too. With the number of travelers expected to double by 2035, according to a market research firm, airlines will make many more changes to attract new passengers and retain existing ones.

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