The global airline industry is reinventing itself to become more streamlined and cost-efficient. As a result, new technologies are emerging that are transforming the future of air travel. The industry is moving away from old models that rely on centralized airports and ticketing agents and towards decentralized services that use blockchain, AI, and AR. These innovations can positively impact the sector’s efficiency while also making air travel more affordable for passengers. These are some of the most exciting innovations in the air travel industry right now:
The blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. But the airline industry is exploring ways blockchain can be used for more than just digital payments. Airline operators and government agencies are beginning to examine the use of blockchain systems to record aircraft maintenance records and track their fleets. This can help to reduce paperwork and the risk of human error. These records would be accessible to all stakeholders, making it easier to identify the source and cause of any issues. The blockchain is also being explored as a way to increase passenger trust. Passengers could be issued with a digital ID, which could be used to access digital boarding passes and check-in. This would make it easier for passengers to self-manage their trips and reduce the need for check-in staff.
Artificial intelligence has been in the headlines a lot in the past year. But what does it have to do with air travel? AI has been around for decades but has only recently made the headlines. The airline industry has used AI for decades to optimize operations and make decisions more efficiently. Airline companies are now exploring how AI can improve passenger experience and reduce costs. AI can monitor social media channels, analyze reports, and monitor the conversation to identify areas for improvement. AI could also be used to improve the passenger journey. It could help passengers make better decisions by using their previous behavior to inform recommendations. AI could also make it easier to manage the airport experience, be it ordering food, finding your gate, or securing a refund.
Augmented reality is the technology behind games such as Pokémon Go. AR is being explored within the airline industry to enhance the passenger journey. Visualizing the seat map in front of you could make the check-in process faster and more efficient. This would make finding your seat on a full flight easier and could be used to help organize priority boarding. AR could be used to make the security process easier and more efficient. By visualizing the security process on a mobile device, passengers can see what needs to be removed from their bags and what can be left. AR could also make it easier for passengers to find their way around the airport. This could include mapping directions to your gate and displaying important information, such as your flight’s status.
Performance-based Navigation (PBN) manages air traffic by paying pilots based on the distance they fly. PBN is designed to reduce congestion by adjusting flight paths. The FAA is testing PBN in New York and the Pacific region. PBN uses data, such as wind speed and direction, traffic, and weather, to calculate a more efficient flight path. PBN is designed to reduce the number of reroutes and help avoid congestion. PBN could reduce the overall flight time by 2.5%, equating to a saving of $400 million in fuel per year. PBN could make it easier for pilots to navigate bad weather, reduce the risk of pilot error, and help aircraft stay on course.
Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence used to train computers to find patterns in data. It automates tasks and makes quicker decisions based on previous data. Machine learning can be used to optimize flight schedules and predict demand. Airline companies can use historical data to find patterns in demand and optimize their flights accordingly. This could make it easier to avoid overbooking and accommodate last-minute bookings. Machine learning could also be used to improve the passenger journey. It could be used to identify the best seats on the plane, estimate how long the journey will take, and when the passenger will arrive.
Biometrics is the use of computer technology based on the unique physical characteristics of an individual. This could include fingerprints, retinas, and facial recognition. Biometrics is used in the aviation industry to verify a person’s identity. Passengers must provide a biometric ID to verify their identity when checking in for a flight, such as a fingerprint or retinal scan. Biometrics could be used to improve the passenger journey. Passengers could use their biometric data to process their travel booking, check-in, and board the plane. This would make it easier for passengers to self-manage their trip and avoid long check-in queues. Biometrics could also be used to improve the security process. By verifying the identity of passengers before they board the plane, it could help to identify any potential threats.
Wearable technology is currently being explored to enhance the passenger journey. Wearable technology uses small electronic devices that can be worn on the body. These devices are designed to be used in everyday life and become an essential part of our lives. Airline companies are exploring wearable technology to monitor flight attendants during the journey and after they have landed. This could be done through a small device fitted to their uniform or integrated into their headset. This would make it easier to track flight attendants and ensure they arrive at their destination safely.
Robotics is using machines to complete tasks that humans would usually do. The aviation industry is exploring using robots to perform essential tasks such as cleaning. This could be done by autonomous robots programmed to complete specific tasks. Other robots could be programmed to work alongside humans to help with repetitive tasks and heavy lifting. Robots could be used to clean the inside and outside of aircraft. They could be used to clean the seats, bathrooms, and cabin floor and help to reduce the amount of cleaning required. Robots could also be used to clean the tarmac.
Now is an exciting time for the airline industry. The airline industry is undergoing a period of change. New technologies are emerging that are transforming the future of air travel. These innovations can positively impact the sector’s efficiency while also making air travel more affordable for passengers. While these technologies are still being developed, it’s important to remember that there is also room to improve existing systems. For example, there is a case for implementing a biometric check-in system, which could help reduce check-in times. This article has explored the most exciting innovations in the air travel industry. But with so many new technologies emerging, the industry has plenty of room to grow.