The aviation industry has always been ahead o its time, introducing new technologies, new procedures, new concepts, it has always been considered as an “State of the Art” industry, so why it took us so long to start developing new products to the final user, the passenger?
Our industry’s final goal has been since the beginning to carry passengers or cargo from A to B, in a safest and fastest way in comparison to any other transportation means, which has been achieved successfully. Every now and then new features are introduced, such as a new business class seat, online check-in, frequent-flyer programs or even some features are excluded, like onboard snacks, amenities, baggage allowance and so on, but they are all secondary services, and although every improvement has been created to attract more and more all kinds of costumers, the primary service is still the same, transport the passenger from A to B.
Why not to reinvent the way we deliver our services? Why not reinvent the way things are today, make the journey itself the primary service, and the final destination just a consequence? Why not deliver a whole new set of sensations, throughout the entire costumer experience? It’s time to rethink the services we are providing.
Aviation has grown sufficiently in the past decades to accommodate all kinds of operations and all kinds of services, low cost carriers, flag carriers and charter companies. According to ICAO’s IHLG Report, it is expected that passengers and cargo traffic to more than double by 2034, holding a tremendous potential:
Aviation has brought connectivity to the economies across the world, providing a substantial capability to develop the tourism sector, which utilizes the air transportation network as the most important mean of development, according to ICAO, in 2016, there was a total traffic of 1,2 billion tourists worldwide, of which 648 millions have reached their destinations by plane.
Among this 1,2 billion tourists, 77% travelled for leisure purposes while 23% for business purposes, even though the number of leisure travelers is higher, business tourists spend more money on their travels and relies more on the connectivity and availability of the air transportation network.
This expected growth in the air transportation industry is posing a huge gap of opportunities for innovations, a shy development of new business models can be seen, but have already proven to more than work.
Models such as the American based charter company Wheels Up, that offers a membership program that avails more than 75 aircraft to its members, expecting to reach a number of 1,000 aircraft by 2030. A growth based on their sales capability and creativity, offering its costumers with an unique experience such as flying with your favorite soccer player to watch your country’s national championship final in a special ambiance at the stadium, celebrating the end of match in a special party made specially for the company’s members. A part from the experience of flying, an integration with latest mobile technologies, are making the process of booking a flight and managing the itinerary extremely simple.
Another good example of innovative solutions is the company Crystal Cruises, that has taken recently the ownership of a Boeing 777, reconfiguring its interior to the highest standards of luxury and is ready to provide an unique experience on board, such as a Michelin-level cuisine, six spa-like bathrooms and a total of 88 angle lie flat seats.
Sophistication, exclusivity, connectivity and of course, innovation are the words for the coming years in our industry. Some companies have started realizing that and are investing in new business models, new technologies, new experiences, be sure that with the popularization of air transportation, passengers will start to look for exclusive experiences, an era of disruptive ideas is about to come, be prepared.