Paris Airshow – Le Bourget 2011, June 20-26th.
The 49th Paris Airshow is being hailed as an outstanding success with record orders taken. The seven-day event is split in two, four days for the industry and three days for the general public. . The industry days are for buyers, suppliers and manufacturers to cut deals, view the merchandise and check out advancements in technology.
The real question is when will we see advancements to aircraft technology which will enable passengers to arrive in better shape and without the jet lag?
One of the stars of the show was the Airbus A320 neo (new engine option) with 60.9 billion US dollars in orders. Airbus promises it will have 15% more fuel efficiency. As the name suggests the new engine option is just that – modified engines and a few strengthened body parts to allow the plane to handle the additional power.
One industry insider says the record orders reflect irrational optimism in the industry. The upgrade of the A320 concentrates on the exterior of the aircraft and nothing else. A case of a revision masquerading as something new. What we need is real innovation. Now would be a good time for manufacturers to bring the technology that truly delivers important passenger benefit, so passengers can arrive without having to reach for the latest jet lag cure.
Now would also be a good time for the buyers of these aircraft (commercial airlines) to bring their influence to bear by demanding better standards. Negotiating terms across the table from someone who wants your business can be a great leverage tool, if only the airlines had the political will.
Aircraft manufacturers need to build planes that are healthier for the people inside them as well as healthier for the environment. Concentrating on fuel efficiency won’t make flying healthier. Introducing better air quality and water will. The trend of advancement in creature comforts is not new to the airline business fully flat beds, private cabins and showers are a few. It is time to get down to the nitty-gritty and end this false idea that jet lag is impossible to avoid when flying. Moreover doing this will put an end to the false hope of a pharmaceutical jet lag cure and other snake oil remedies.