Airlines need to adapt to survive – and thrive

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Convincing people to travel again in a post-Covid-19 world will likely require cleaner, less dense, and more ‘contactless’ cabins. The coronavirus is going to change the world as we know it. The lockdown in place in many countries is going to provoke a change in consumer habits, and a fundamental shift in values.

Passengers travelling in the future will care more about the cleanliness of the aircraft, privacy, and seat density. It could be reasonable to assume that the economic drivers that the aviation industry has been dealing with over the last few decades will no longer be as valid. Many airlines will have to adapt their products to new requirements, and travelling will become more selective and more expensive, much as it was 20 years ago.

I think there is going to be a lot of space for innovation. Airlines that are able to adapt quickly to this new environment will survive and will get out of this crisis in a stronger competitive position.

Airlines will have to review all their processes to become more efficient, with measures such as reviewing their cleaning processes to guarantee the health of their passengers (especially around the IFE touchscreens, dining/tray tables, armrests, etc). Perhaps assessing the health of passengers and cabin crew before boarding will become a new standard, in order to guarantee the health and safety of everyone on board.

Airlines will also have to review how they go about their customer segmentation and look into customer preferences, as I am quite sure that preferences will change after this crisis, and this will have an impact on cabin layouts and LOPAs.

Inside the cabin, we are going to see an acceleration in the roll-out of newer interfaces, such as voice control (versus touchscreens), as well as CMF that will be determined not only by aesthetics but also by antibacterial function.

This concept for a lower deck that features an air lounge and removable immersive retail experience modules was co-created by Mormedi as part of the Future Cabin for the Asian Market (FUCAM) project as part of a consortium led by Airbus

A time for renewal 

In conclusion, airlines will have to review the whole passenger experience and reconsider the entire user journey, as many touchpoints will have to be redesigned to adapt to our new circumstances and way of travelling.

Isn’t it likely that many passengers would pay extra for extra space and peace of mind – like not having anyone sitting next to them – when travelling in a sealed cabin?

The way we will travel in the future will be much different than it has been up to now, and hopefully, in a lot of ways, for the better.

Jaime Moreno is the founder CEO and creative director of the Mormedi design agency, based in in Madrid, Tokyo and London.

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