While most of us have more or less restricted our air travel due to the pandemic it is the apt time to ask the question how will air travel change? Please do not ask this question to an airline or aircraft manufacturer, because you will get a marginally better answer which might be true in the near future but will probably be nothing like what the potential future air travel can be. There is general malaise around travel and tourism, I believe the best way to get out of this mode is to ask the question what has been wrong about the Airline industry? I wrote a post about why Airlines are very difficult businesses to run.
The fundamental problem with Airlines is that it a highly competitive industry. In addition to the competition, it is an industry where everyone is a price taker on both the revenue side and the cost side. You cannot charge $5000 for a ticket to travel from Reykjavik to New York because someone else is offering the same for $150. However, your operational cost is very similar and almost 25% of that cost is the cost of fuel. There is a reason why so many airlines go bust. There are 2 ways to change this equation i.e. charge for value
- Make an aircraft that does goes from Reykjavik to New York in half the time
- Make an aircraft that does not use fossil fuel for energy
Impossible? cannot be done? think again. Boom Supersonic is a Y Combinator company that is doing #1.
Here is the founder of Boom talking about why the advances in computing and engineering has made it possible to build a new aircraft that is exponentially better than what is available today.
I have always been a fan of aircraft and I used to do build and fly Remote Controlled Aircrafts with my father when I was a kid. He would be amazed at the progress we have made. He actually designed some pretty sophisticated target drones while he was building a company in U.A.E.
I am so excited to see founders making tremendous progress to change the course of history. This one will definitely change the future of air travel.