It’s interesting to see how travel has changed in the last decade—from Instagram to climate change and biometrics to wellness trips. But with a new year now in full fling, 2020 has a lot in store for travelers including a new carrier making its debut, the possible comeback of the 737 MAX, travel to outer space for non-astronauts, a switch to one pilot per plane, and a technology that can help with delays and traffic. With that said, let’s dive in a little deeper into each one of these.
JetBlue, Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue Airways and Azul Brazilian Airlines creator, David Neeleman, will launch another new U.S. carrier called Moxy based in Salt Lake City. The airline will take pre-owned Embraer jets from the Brazilian Airline Azul, and integrate new A220s into the fleet in 2021. The airline will fly to smaller cities (to be determined) that are not dominated by other low-cost carriers such as Frontier and Allegiant.
Boeing 737 MAX Comeback
Last year, Boeing took a huge hit when all the new 737 MAX planes had to be grounded due to two accidents caused by technical mechanical failures from when the aircraft was built. This year, we’ll see the 737 MAX make a comeback as soon as the FAA approves the fixes and planes are safe to fly again. Although this travel change is more geared for U.S. Airlines, it will take a bit longer for international carriers to start using the Boeing 737 MAX once again.
Space Travel Tourism
Virgin Galactic is set to take off this year, meaning for a whopping $250,000 you can buy a ticket to visit the edges of Earth and see Outerspace via Virgin Galactic. Although the company had a rough start, it’s getting close to being cleared for takeoff with passengers. Right now, there are over 600 travelers who have reserved their spot to travel to the edge of space. These people are not astronauts, rather they are very wealthy people (some even celebrities) who have the means to afford such a unique opportunity.
Did you know that the system used to determine and help with airline delays is from the 1940s? It’s more than time for an upgrade, which is why a new surveillance technology called ADS-B launched earlier this month. It won’t completely eliminate flight delays, but it will greatly improve them as well as improve the information sent to travelers about the delays. Think of it as a navigation app you use on your phone to get from one destination to another, where you’re offered the easiest route to avoid heavy traffic before you even start driving.
One Pilot per Plane
Another change in travel for 2020 is the possibility of smaller airlines switching to one pilot per plane versus the standard two. With new technologies in place, this will become possible. But why? Smaller air carriers have a harder time finding enough pilots to fly their planes, and with the advancement of airplane technology, the need to fly smaller aircraft with two pilots will soon no longer be needed.
Out of all the changes in travel for 2020, which one are you most excited or curious about?