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Innovation: Dream On

Even a futurist needs to cool his jets when he thinks he just dreamt the headline that appeared at CNNMoney.com recently about the doubling of air travelers by 2025.

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Is that level of growth real, you might ask, or just a daydream?

The really interesting part of this dreamy prediction is that the great leap forward in air travel is said to be occurring not due to more flights, but to larger planes.

When you drill down into the article you learn that the agency playing futurist here — the Airports Council International — is based in Europe, home of the Airbus A380.

I’ve read reports that the A380 appears to be getting over its production difficulties, but still will be hitting the tarmac years behind schedule. Many orders for the double-decker jet have been cancelled in favor of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner, a smaller, fuel-efficient plane that’s coming on-stream sooner.

I suspect that the much of this doubled passenger prediction factors in the A380’s original potential impact on the traditional spoke-and-hub airline travel model.

Which leads me to wonder what the impact of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be, since it is designed expressly for longer direct flights that ignore the hub, or “network” model.

So, will this 2025 prediction hold up?

I’m about as sure that will happen as I am that NASA will have taken America back to the moon by December 2019.

Meaning, not at all.

Airline Futurist • Miami • rbuckman@amadeus.com • www.amadeus.com

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