Airline travel has become the linchpin of a more globalized world.

Plane docking

By Kevin Lin

Airline travel, the foundation of a more globalized world. Without it, diverse communities would not be as commonplace as they are now. Without airline travel, face to face connections would take exponentially more time. As society gravitates towards airline travel, how are companies addressing the exponential increase as well as the controversies that are to follow? Essentially those are the main factors that many airlines have to address.

The reported logistics and statistics

Algorithms for major airline companies are necessary to increase efficiency when it comes to arranging the massive consumer society that boards airlines. In 20 years, the projected amount of people that use air travel is doubled according to a report by the International Air Transport Association. From an economic standpoint, investors will look to airlines not only for travel but as job providers to maintaining the amount of air travel. This theory, however, might not happen depending on whether or not there will be any recessions. If a recession were to happen, and the technology for airline travel has not significantly improved cost-wise; the projection for airline travel would cease to decrease, but airline travel will continue to increase.

Annual growth in global air traffic passenger demand

According to this graph by Statista from the International Airline Travel Association, Almost every year there is a growth in the demand for airline travel. Airline companies have to cater to when it comes to the number of people they are now having to address. Food companies, hotels, souvenir shops, and many other businesses’ are expected to grow as the demand is increasing.

The fine print for the airline business

With the rise of the airline business comes many controversies that are to come. An example would be the case of the ‘serial stowaway’ an article written by the Washington Post. In this case, Marilyn Hartman had managed to sneak past security and board a plane flight to London; what is to stop another terrorist situation if one civilian was able to sneak past security? When the airline companies find themselves increasing exponentially in size, are they cutting corners in security? One should look cautiously with the increase in air travel.

3D-printed guns are now available for the general public if made on their own. The government has no real way of dealing with this issue. Alex Fitzpatrick Times Magazine editor mentions “laws and regulations are not equipped to the advancement of technology.” Even the TSA is not able to handle these types of security issues. Does the airline industry have a right to expand as quickly as it does despite these major security controversial concerns?

Besides security concerns, there are also environmental concerns by the industry. In the New York Times article “‘Worse Than Anyone Expected’: Air Travel Emissions Vastly Outspace Predictions.” It argues that harmful emissions increase exponentially. According to the United Nations, there were about 40 million flights in 2018. This means that airline travel increases from a large number of flights. Greenhouse gas emissions will also increase to pose a threat to the environment. The United Nations mentions that a projected number of greenhouse gas produced by 2050 will be 270 million metric tons. However, the airline industry is looking into solutions for a better transportation method for electric planes. They, however, will cover the growing number of customers to the airline industry through electrical means.

More improvements needed

Even with disasters like the two crashes of the 737 Boeing Max, the airline industry’s progression was not hindered. However, this goes to show that the airline industry’s growth is controversial with the safety issue still in place. The Ethiopian crash had many technical malware. According to an airline report by the Ethiopian Preliminary report, the pilot’s response was the main issue. Stricter guidelines are needed for safety issues. Not only that, but the software also had the problem of only having one sensor to guide the safety mechanism. 

Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenberg of the Boeing company has made an apology for the tragedies. He still plans on re-incorporating the Boeing Max 737 eventually. This goes to additionally show that even if there are tragedies that the companies reveal. The demand for travel will continue to increase, however. 

Society’s demand for airline travel will increase, and with that comes many things. There will be a demand for jobs in growing industries with growth. This trend will ultimately aid in society’s growth as a more diverse community. There will be an exchange of goods and ideas. What is the cost and what should people do to prevent the risks that come with this growth?