Less than 18 percent of the world’s population has travelled on an airplane. Air travel is still an activity only the privileged few have the luxury to enjoy.
But there is going to be a change. The forecast is that in the next 20 years air travel will double. Passenger numbers will double, and the number of commercial aircraft in the skies also will double.
It leads to the focus on fuel efficiency in aviation circles at the moment. High fuel costs and the forthcoming implementation of CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) means airlines are on the hunt for measures to slash fuel consumption.
The famous Solar Impulse plane may have circumnavigated the globe using only solar power, but currently, hopes of delivering zero carbon flight at commercial scale face some pretty daunting technical challenges.
The airline industry is facing some tough choices. It might make good business sense for the aviation sector to be boosting efficiency and cutting fuel consumption, but ultimately that only can take it so far.