Teleportation is not here yet, which means traveling over long distances across the globe still rhymes with slight discomfort. The good news is ‒ transportation industries keep topping themselves to show great scores of convenience at moving people between continents.

Remarkable commercial aviation players that boost their businesses with new astonishing ideas, show outstanding results at developing connectivity, offer cutting-edge sustainable solutions and never fail to amaze their clients with high-innovative service and features all happen to be the main focus of Aviation Industry Awards Europe.

As a special part of AIR Convention Europe conference, Industry Awards intend to discover the most inspiring, innovative, bizarre and progressive ideas, thinkers and projects of the year in two sections: Business and Innovation. Don’t shy away from the competition: submit your company until August 2nd, 2019 and vote for your faves starting August 3rd, 2019. https://europe.airconvention.com/awards/

Who set European industry standards in 2019? Who earned the trust and admiration of the clients? Before we find out the winners, let’s go through some of the vivid trends that shaped the market in 2019.

Designing the space you don’t ever want to leave

To transform the tiresome part of traveling into an exciting experience, airlines and airports do their best endowing a flight with the features of a self-sufficient journey. This, in turn, opens up ambitious horizons, helps win the trust of new customers, and does not disappoint the loyal travelers.

Perfecting customer experience was a downright leading trend for airlines and airports in 2019. Extra convenience, greater entertainment, immersive flight experience, faster and smarter communication with clients – all of the areas were thoroughly mastered by the industry throughout the year. Artificial Intelligence developments were also garnered to serve this area, which was largely proved by the growing use of chatbots in communication with customers.

Improved in-flight connectivity, another notable trend, was ranging from more airlines enabling free on-board wi-fi to new ancillary strategies and emerging collaboration between airlines and streaming services, like Netflix or Apple Music.

Technological drive expectations or reality?

Although IATA declares in Future of the Airline Industry 2035 that the aviation industry only reacts to technologies, rather than letting them lead the way, it is quite obvious that technological innovations are already changing the aviation landscape. 

Some airports and airlines have already introduced trial features based on biometric technology, enabling facial recognition or fingerprints use instead of printing boarding pass to ease the operations.

Safer data storage also hits its stride: open aviation data platforms could provide a single access point to all of the data stored in a secure cloud format. Integration of operational, maintenance, and aircraft data into one platform could present more efficient and reliable storage for airlines and companies’ records. With that in mind, airlines are now actively investing in cloud services and cybersecurity.

What’s cooking with the “green” trend

From green to even greener aviation: sustainability questions also were on the front burner this year. Recycled goods, reusable materials – everything related to making aviation less disposable and more sustainable, dominated the agenda. 

Together with other industries, aviation is moving towards greater environmental awareness. As stated by Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of IATA, in IATA’s annual review 2019 the pressure is particularly intense in Europe. That is why more and more sustainable solutions are coming out these days in terms of aircraft design, sustainable fuels, and more environmentally friendly airports.

One of the most popular solutions in 2019 was probably the switch to sustainable alternatives of plastic. Many projects this year were aimed at raising social responsibility and offered different options to replace the existing on-board food packaging. This implied changes to on-board catering services, with the replacement of plastic cups and stirrers by paper and wooden ones and other recyclable tableware. 

More ideas and insights will be presented during AIR Convention Europe 2019. The biggest game-changers within categories including “Eco Product of the year”, “Aircraft Manufacturer of the Year, Airport of the year”, “Low-Cost/Long-Haul Carrier of the year”, “Step Forward in Aviation Training” and many others will be bestowed during the Awards Ceremony, in Vilnius, Lithuania, on September 16-18th, 2019. 

Annual Aviation Industry Awards are part of AIR Convention 2019 ‒ conference, exhibition and awards taking place in Vilnius, Lithuania, on September 16th – 18th. The conference participants list includes Boeing, Finavia, Turkish Airlines, Air Canada Rouge, Wizz Air, Hi Fly, Bombardier among attending companies and more than 70 leading aviation industry experts arriving as speakers.

 Nomination submissions are open until August 2nd, 2019. Submission is free of charge. Voting starts on August 3rd, 2019. More information about Annual Aviation Industry Awards can be found at https://europe.airconvention.com/awards/

Image: Margo Brodowicz