Wings Magazine

Air travel the real World Wide Web: Airbus

July 6, 2012, Toulouse, Fra. - On the eve of the Farnborough International Airshow, Airbus reveals the latest findings in a two-year global consultation with more than 1.75 million people which spells out what passengers want from flying in the future: more sustainable; less stressful; and more of it, despite social media revolutionising how we keep in touch. 

July 6, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

  • 63% of people worldwide say they will fly more by 2050
  • 60% do not think social media will replace the need to see people face-to-face
  • 96% believe aircraft will need to be more sustainable or 'eco-efficient'
  • Almost 40% feel air travel (door-to-door) is increasingly stressful

"Aviation is the real World Wide Web," says Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President, Engineering. "The results of the survey show that there is nothing better than face to face contact. The world is woven together by a web of flights that creates ever-expanding social and economic networks: 57 million jobs, 35 per cent of world trade, and US$2.2 trillion in global GDP.

"Since we launched the Future by Airbus, we have engaged with people in 192 countries in a dialogue about the future of air travel. This resulted in our revolutionary Airbus Concept Plane and Cabin which offer a glimpse into some of the innovations that could meet evolving passenger trends and environmental considerations. It's clear that people are really excited about the future of sustainable flight and we want them to be part of shaping that future."

  • 86% of people think less fuel burn is key and 85% a reduction in carbon emissions
  • 66% want quieter aircraft and 65% planes which are fully recyclable

But Champion notes that as more people fly more often, the greater their expectations will be for the 'end-to-end passenger experience.' The Airbus consultation highlights a predictable list of gripes: queues at passport control; slow check-in and baggage collection; sitting on the tarmac; and circling in holding patterns around airports. 


"In London for example we've seen concern about queues at airports and people are understandably not happy about it," he adds.  "But the reality is those capacity constraints are a sign of things to come unless the industry can work together to cut delays, and with aviation set to double in the next 15 years, that's what we're looking at."

More than 90 per cent of the €2 billion that Airbus spends on Research & Development is directed at improving the environmental performance of its aircraft.  The latest generation includes the flagship A380, the world's largest yet quietest commercial aircraft; a fuel efficient 'new engine option' for the A320 family, the A320neo; and the A350 XWB that will provide a 25 per cent step-change in fuel efficiency whilst giving passengers more space on board.


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