Airbus held a press conference to present its new vision for more sustainable and carbon-neutral flights in the future. The Franco-German aircraft manufacturer also discussed the future of the passenger experience.
During this press conference, Airbus focused on the cabin of its aircraft. According to recent studies, this is to blame up to 10 to 20% of the aircraft’s overall environmental impact on its life cycle.
Airbus is working with ten major airlines, including Lufthansa Group and Delta Airlines, as well as eight technology partners to develop new concepts for future cabins. The goal is to make them less harmful to the environment while providing a better experience for travelers.
The strongest lever that Airbus can pull to reduce the environmental impact of the cabin is to reduce its weight. Creating lighter electronic designs for the new cabs could help reduce their weight by 40%. Before the flight, passengers will be asked to pre-order their meals for longer flights. Many airlines already offer these options, and some go even further by offering the option to declare not wanting a meal at all, such as Japan Airlines and Delta Air Lines. The airline knows in advance what meals should be eaten on board, allowing it to reduce weight and therefore fuel costs and reduce waste. On short trips, it may be possible to do without kitchen space altogether.
Airbus also offers an interesting solution for short trips: passengers will be offered the option of pre-orders that they can collect before boarding. Again, while reducing waste, this solution will further reduce weight due to fewer heavy duty trolleys. Airbus believes this system can help reduce food waste and cabin weightup to 15%. In the future, passengers should receive more transparent information about the carbon footprint of their individual flight. In addition, appropriate technological tools can be provided to them to provide them with more choices, particularly for carbon offsetting or meal selection.
On the plane, more technology will be used to allow passengers to order everything using their smartphones. Virgin Atlantic recently launched its new Airbus 330neo cabin, which allows passengers to control the in-flight entertainment using their own device, even in economy class.
Airbus wants the cabins of the future to be closer to nature, with a sense of space and light. However, aircraft manufacturers often design these cabins so that airlines can cram in as many seats as possible to maximize their profits. There will also be a long-term focus on how cabin manufacturers can reuse materials or parts and use items made from recycled materials. Not only are they better for the planet, but they may reduce production costs for new aircraft cabins.
Of course, all initiatives to reduce weight would be less environmentally significant if more sustainable fuels were used. A sustainable aviation fuel (CDA) has already been produced and used in a number of commercial flights. However, any reduction in fuel burn is always a way to cut costs for airlines, even if the difference in weight is minimal. However, the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar earlyRecently, he talked about the feasibility of producing CDA, saying that he doubted it 65% target Sustainable fuel for airlines achievable by 2050.
Airbus is expected to unveil more details of its Cabin Vision 2035+ concepts at the AIX Aircraft Interiors Expo, which will take place in the first week of June.
Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Michelle Robson
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