by John Walton | CNN
As with almost any other year, a look into the future for aviation will almost certainly focus on exciting things like new airplanes, airlines, and airports.
But it would be impossible to discuss any developments in the industry for 2022 without making reference to the Covid-19 variants, restrictions and challenges for airlines.
Here we break down some of the most notable changes to come for airlines, travelers, airports and the rest of aviation over the next 12 months, as well as the many problems the ongoing global pandemic is causing…
more covid challenges
How COVID-19 progresses, especially any new form of the virus, is the major question for aviation.
At the time of writing, the Omicron variant is still being investigated to determine how it compares to earlier variants such as the Delta and Alpha.
But its emergence has already had a huge impact on travel, with flying restrictions, not to mention the number of passengers testing positive on arrival, passengers absconding from quarantine, and so on. Flight cancellations due to a shortage of pilots have also been an issue during the busy holiday period.
A major challenge facing both airlines and passengers in 2022 is to manage vaccination certification.
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This is especially true when it comes to defining what “vaccination” means, especially around a booster or third dose.
For example, will travelers receiving single-dose vaccines continue to be counted as full immunizations in the coming months? And what about people who have had a two-dose vaccine, but have not been administered with a booster jab?
Will the rules be different for tourists who have recovered from the coronavirus and received a standard vaccination, as is customary in countries such as Germany, or for children in countries where some young people are given just one dose of the mRNA vaccine? Is? And how will Omicron affect vaccination status?
There is some push for a digital QR-based standard (possibly the EU’s Digital COVID Certificate), but it requires a lot of work and negotiation.
new airline launch
Starting a new airline during a pandemic is a wild card to say the least, but Norse Atlantic Airways is rising to the challenge by launching long-haul low-cost flights between Europe and North America.
Of course, its founder probably wouldn’t say “Oh, like Norwegians used to?”
But since they are the same team that the Norwegians run and are planning to use the same Boeing 787 Dreamliner that the airline used, it’s not far off.
In the US, another low-cost venture, Northern Pacific Airways aims to make Anchorage’s Ted Stevens Airport a hub in 2022 connecting the United States and Asia through its fleet of Boeing 757-200 narrow body passenger jets. to begin with.
In India, ultra-low-cost startup Akasa Air is looking to join the fray by the summer, while the defunct Jet Airways is ready for new life in early 2022.
And the new airlines to be launched in 2021 will be in expansion mode during the coming months.
After starting flights to destinations in the US West and Northwest from its base in Burbank, California in April 2021, Avello Airlines has been expanding, most recently in New Haven, Connecticut, to six Florida destinations in the winter. with flights.
Breeze Airways, meanwhile, continues to grow its network in the East, Midwest, and South of the United States, with an extensive point-to-point network spanning from San Antonio and Oklahoma City to Providence, and from Tampa to Akron across the country. is a wide area. / Canton and Tulsa.
Breeze is due to put into service its all-new Airbus A220 airplanes, some of the most comfortable, quiet and spacious jets in the sky, during the second quarter of 2022.
Keep track of new services from familiar airlines.
For example, United Airlines is boosting its transatlantic network in the summer of 2022, adding new flights to Bergen in Norway, the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca and the Canary Islands of Tenerife, Ponta Delgada in the Azores and Amman in Jordan.
The airline is also expanding its London services – with additional flights to and from Boston, Newark, Denver and San Francisco – as well as adding additional services to and from its hubs for Munich, Milan, Berlin, Dublin and Rome.
If international travel remains complicated this year, airlines will want to keep their planes flying.
This means they are likely to put them on routes they think will make the most money – in this case, domestic routes (such as the US, India or China, or within Europe’s Schengen area).
It’s worth looking for rental deals, but make sure they’re refundable.
After a flurry of international airport openings in recent years, 2022 is set to be relatively calm on this front.
However, some of the much-anticipated new terminals will be launched in New York.
First up: Terminal C of LaGuardia Airport, home of Delta Air Lines, which is due to open in the spring. This new terminal will surely be a major improvement for the passenger experience.
The new Terminal A (formerly called Terminal One, a bit confusingly) will launch later in the year, across the Hudson River from Manhattan in Newark.
On the other side of the Pacific, Bangkok’s main Suvarnabhumi airport is set to open its new satellite Terminal 1 in October, following several scheduling delays linked to the tourism slowdown during the pandemic.
Additionally, Chennai International Airport is set to open its new terminal, which will replace the now-defunct Terminals 2 and 3, this year, while a three-level terminal expansion at Australia’s Gold Coast Airport is also to be completed.
To the south in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives’ Velana International Airport is adding a new seaplane terminal and a new runway to accommodate larger aircraft.
And it’s not just the big airports that are opening brand new terminals.
The new facilities are set to open in Pune, Andaman/Port Blair and Leh in India, Provo in the US state of Utah, Colombia in Missouri and Tacloban in the Philippines.
delivery of aircraft
The aviation industry oscillates between two modes: “sell new airplanes” and “build those airplanes.” Now we’re on the latter, with more latest planes coming out of factories.
These include the Airbus A320neo family, the A350 and A330neo, and the Boeing 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliners.
Airbus is moving ahead with deliveries (460 as of the end of October, the last set of data released by the company) despite the pandemic, and the airliner maker aims to build out even more of its popular A320neo family – especially for the long haul. Up to the time the A321neos can carry a maximum of 244 passengers in an all-economy layout.
Boeing, of course, has had a large Max backlog following its safety grounding, while deliveries of the Dreamliner have been halted for more than a year due to production quality problems.
But they will eventually resume, and airlines are likely to put the plane into service directly.
Such is the case with Singapore Airlines, which is putting its stocked and refurbished 737 MAX 8 planes straight into the skies with a new cabin.
The same is happening with all-737 airline flydubai, which is a partner airline of Emirates.
Don’t expect to see Boeing’s massively spread 777X in 2022, though. While it was scheduled for next year at one point, the first deliveries are no longer expected until 2023 or 2024.
But travelers are likely to see more aircraft like the Airbus A321LR (for long range) in 2022. An increasing amount of these aircraft are being produced, which means more flights directly to a central destination rather than connecting via a hub.
In 2023, keep an eye out for the A321XLR—you guessed it, extra long range.
Updated seats and cabin
While this particular “build” mode is less fun for fans of the aircraft at airshows, it is good news for passengers.
New aircraft with updated seats, new entertainment systems, in-seat power and faster Wi-Fi are currently in full “build” mode and are increasingly arriving at airlines.
For business class flying in particular, this would mean more mini suites with privacy doors and all the bells and whistles they could wish for.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of aircraft are being fitted with the premium economy section. Emirates is the latest airline to add middle-cabin, announcing an upcoming 18-month program to install premium economy seats on 105 Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 airplanes.
The economy cabins will also get some tech upgrades in the form of fast-charging USB-C sockets, inflight entertainment system that integrates with the phone app, allowing passengers to use Bluetooth headphones.
Other notable updates include space-saving seats that move those knee-crunching support structures out of the way of the legs so that passengers feel like they have a little more space on board, even when the seats are evenly spaced.
Oddly, with significantly older airplanes being retired during the pandemic, passengers are actually more likely to fly in 2022 on a newer plane with better entertainment and more modern opposition.
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