Hospitality Industry
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Air-Travel Trends: the future is sustainable and interconnected

Romain Vetter
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While travel has not yet resumed its previous levels after a period of major depression, airlines are taking the time to take an introspective look and improve. We met with Romain Vetter, Head of Western Switzerland for SWISS International Air Lines, to talk about his perspective on the future and trends of air travel and the challenges that the industry is facing. 

What’s the future of air travel? 

The future of air travel lies in the interconnectivity with other transport modes. In a world of constant innovation, people are looking for more efficient means to do everything. Our mindset must be global and not individual, it’s only whilst developing high interconnectivity that we will achieve the best ergonomic travelling means. 

Using electric planes is one of the first solutions that comes to mind when talking about the future, unfortunately, I this day and age they could only have a utility for short-length flights. Today, the real innovation lies in alternative fueling reducing around 80% of CO2 emissions. For example, Lufthansa Group directed its focus towards innovation, by implementing sharkskin technology, a new kind of sustainable engineering on its cargo’s flights, to reduce friction air and fuel consumption. 

But if the solution lies in alternative fuels, anyone is bound to ask: why is this so complicated to implement? The challenge here, is that they are on average 5 times more expensive than the current fuel. Adding to that, those new types of synthetic fuels are very scarce in resources, it’s incredibly complicated to reach productivity and the amount produced is very small.

Leadership Trends

After talking about the future of air travel, it is interesting to look at the industry's current state and analyze what the leaders are doing.

To no surprise, innovation is at the forefront, driving the industry forward regarding efficiency, design, and sustainability (to name a few). Nowadays, the air travel offer is vast, and these improvements help differentiate each company.

The focus is on efficient and effective design of planes, allowing for improvement in terms of sustainability. For example, the "Sharkskin" technology implemented for Lufthansa's Cargos allows savings of just under 11,700 tons of COD emissions per year."

Furthermore, another remarkable trend is centered around connecting with people online. After being forced into the virtual world, airlines are paying increased attention to improving the connection with customers from the first exposure to the service - online. As mentioned before, differentiation plays a crucial role, and therefore companies have to find creative ways to engage and relate to their customers. With the example of SWISS, them implementing their "SWISS Saveurs" food offer in-flight is an effort to express and represent the swiss culture, and thus establish a unique connection with the passengers.

In conclusion, the industry's out-of-the-box thinking allows air travel to survive and thrive after experiencing a significant recession. In addition, with a global mindset shifting towards personalized experiences, now and in the future, we can see how every aspect of the bond between the brand and the company is being carefully taken into consideration.

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EHL Alliance’s founding member, Swiss International Air Lines is committed on various fronts to the careful and sustainable use of natural resources and regards a responsible attitude to the environment as an integral part of its corporate culture. 

Reference:  
Schmid, C., Diaz, M., & Vetter, R. (2021, November 9). Interview about sustainabilty and the future of air travel with Romain Vetter. personal. 

Written by

Head of Swiss, Western Switzlerland

Martin Diaz
Written by
Martin Diaz

Bachelor Student and EHL Alliance ambassador at Swiss

Caroline Schmid
Written by
Caroline Schmid

Bachelor Student and EHL Alliance ambassador at Swiss

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