According to a recent innovation report by SITA, 12 key trends will shape the travel industry over the next decade. The report, which draws on insights from the transport industry, global research, and the latest cutting-edge proof of concepts from the SITA Lab innovation team, identifies the most powerful “shifts that will drive the transport industry’s evolution by 2033”. 

Andrew O’Brian, founder and CEO of Centerline Airport Partners, breaks down some of the main trends of the aviation industry explored in the report and shares his insights on the future of air travel and the sustainability of the aviation industry.

Question: How will the concept of a “smart airport” shape the future of air travel?

The emergence of smart airports, utilizing advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things, will revolutionize the way we travel. Smart airports will optimize operations, enhance the passenger experience, and create new revenue streams. Additionally, the integration of biometrics, mobile technologies, and automation will enable a seamless and personalized journey for passengers, from check-in to baggage claim.

Airports are seeking new ways to fill the revenue gaps left by the pandemic, and many are focusing on areas such as mobile payments, personalization, and expanding ancillary services. Mobile commerce (m-commerce) and buy now pay later (BNPL) services are expected to drive eCommerce growth and enhance the passenger experience throughout their journey.

With the use of biometrics and mobile technologies, passengers will be able to access, pay for and track their purchases and experiences with ease. This interconnected ecosystem will allow passengers to book all elements of their trip, including hotels, excursions, and event tickets, at a kiosk or through their smartphones. Rewards schemes will also enable faster purchases, such as ordering a meal while going through security, so it will be ready when they arrive airside.

Question: How will the aviation industry’s commitment to sustainability shape the future of air travel?

The aviation industry’s commitment to sustainability, including the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, will have a significant impact on the future of air travel. This will require a shift towards more efficient operations, the use of sustainable aviation fuels, and the development and adoption of zero-emission propulsion solutions. Additionally, the industry will need to address the entire aviation supply chain and find ways to reduce emissions throughout the entire journey. The ability of companies to demonstrate their sustainability credentials will become a key factor in attracting climate-conscious consumers.

In the decade until 2030, there will be an increased focus on the entire aviation industry supply chain. Fully efficient operations will be essential for the air transport industry to meet its goal of net-zero emissions. Using data to understand the drivers of emissions across the air transport ecosystem, and using that information to inform industry-wide operational decisions will be crucial in achieving these efficiency gains.

Question: How will the rise of urban air mobility change the way we travel and commute?

Urban air mobility, or the use of electric air taxis, has the potential to revolutionize the way we travel and commute. By 2032, it is expected that electric air taxis will be commonplace at major international airports and will operate as an effective auxiliary service and revenue stream for airports and airlines. This will push travel closer to a seamless journey with short transfers and speedy passenger processing, in addition to added sustainability and energy cost benefits. Furthermore, it will also bring new opportunities for more people to access the benefits of air travel, particularly for those who live in urban areas.

Are you ready to position your airport project for success in today’s dynamic environment? At Centerline Airport Partners, we have a team of industry leaders who are not only thinking about the future of the air transport industry but are actively shaping it. With our expert guidance and knowledge, we can help you navigate the challenges brought on by rapid technological, economic, and demographic changes. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your airport project to the next level. Contact us now to learn more.