With the future of travel changing quickly, it’s hard to imagine what we can expect in this and the next century. Will airplanes be completely controlled by robotics? Will AI technology replace the need for travel and airline agents? Are airplanes going to be reconfigured entirely to be more efficient and use an alternative to fuel to fly? The answers to these questions are still to be determined, but based on the rate we’re going, it’s not impossible. As we head further along in time, here’s what 100 years into the future of air travel may look like.
Airlines have begun to change out their fleet of airplanes with ones that are more fuel-efficient and emit less CO2. However, even by doing so, it’s not enough to help the planet in the long-run. As a result, aviation companies are working towards a new goal of using other fuel alternatives to power large jets. Airlines around the world have jumped on the biofuel bandwagon such as KLM, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, Porter Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and many others. Although this is a good step forward, airlines still have to do more if they want to be sustainable as the world changes. In 100 years, airlines will most likely have moved completely away from fuel and only rely on other earth-friendly resources available to fly passengers from point A to point B.
Even with the development of airplanes that can fly many passengers across the globe without having to carry extra fuel and are lighter than their predecessors, the need to create even better planes is in dire need. In the next 100 years of air travel, we may see a complete shift in the materials used to create the exterior and interior of airplanes, the design of the cabin to allow for long-haul flights, and where cargo is stored—a shift from the bottom of the plane to the wings. These new planes will dramatically change the way we travel and at the same time, help the travel industry be more conscious of the environment.
Airlines have set goals and are making changes to be more eco-friendly by figuring out ways to reduce waste onboard. For example, completely removing plastics and substituting it out with wood and biodegradable materials, and recycling metal and bottles to create signs and other elements for the airline and airplane. Looking at 100 years into the future, we most likely will see zero plastics onboard an airplane and on the ground at airports and airport lounges, with carriers using only sustainable and eco-friendly plates, cutlery, cups, napkins, condiment storage cases and more.