Next year in aviation


(CNN) – For almost any other year, a look into the future of aviation would almost certainly focus on interesting things like new planes, airlines, and airports.

But it would be impossible to talk about any developments in the industry by 2022 without referring to variants, restrictions and challenges of Covid-19 for airlines.

Here we break down some of the most significant changes that have taken place for airlines, passengers, airports and the rest of aviation over the next 12 months, as well as the many problems that the global pandemic continues to cause …

More Covid challenges

Travelers line up for Covid-19 tests at Los Angeles International Airport.

Travelers line up for Covid-19 tests at Los Angeles International Airport.

Jae C. Hong / AP

How Covid-19 is progressing, especially any new variant of the virus, is the main issue for aviation.

At the time of writing, the Omicron variant is still being examined to determine how it compares to earlier variants such as Delta and Alpha.

One of the key challenges facing both airlines and passengers in 2022 is managing vaccination certification.

This is especially true when it comes to defining what “vaccinated” means, especially around booster or third doses.

For example, will travelers who have received a single dose vaccine continue to be counted as fully vaccinated in the coming months? And what about those who have had two of the two-dose vaccines but have not been given a booster shot?

Will the rules differ for tourists who have recovered from the coronavirus and received a standard vaccine, as is usual in countries like Germany, or children from countries where some young people only receive one dose of mRNA vaccine? And how will Omicron affect vaccination status?

There is some push for a QR-based digital standard (possibly the EU’s Covid digital certificate), but it will take a lot of work and negotiation.

Launch of new airlines

Low-cost carrier Avelo began operating from Burbank Hollywood Airport in April 2021.

Low-cost carrier Avelo began operating from Burbank Hollywood Airport in April 2021.

Bing Guan / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Starting a new airline during a pandemic is a bit of a joke to say the least, but Norse Atlantic Airways is taking on the challenge by launching low-cost long-haul flights between Europe and North America.

Of course, its founders would probably prefer you not to say “oh, how did the Norwegian do it?”

But since they are the same team that Norwegian ran and plan to use the same Boeing 787 Dreamliners that the airline used, it’s not far off.

In the United States, another low-cost carrier, Northern Pacific Airways aims to launch in 2022 with the ambition of turning Ted Stevens Airport in Anchorage into a hub that connects the United States and Asia through its Boeing 757-200 passenger aircraft fleet.
In India, low-cost startup Akasa Air wants to join the fight in the summer, while the defunct Jet Airways is gearing up for a new life in early 2022.

And the new airlines that were launched in 2021 will be in expansion mode for the next few months.

After starting with flights from its base in Burbank, California in April 2021 to destinations in the western and northwestern United States, Avelo Airlines has been expanding, most recently to New Haven, Connecticut, with flights winter in six Florida destinations.
Meanwhile, Breeze Airways continues to grow its network in the eastern, midwestern, and southern United States, with an extensive point-to-point network spanning San Antonio and Oklahoma City to Providence and much of the country from Tampa. to Akron. / Canton and Tulsa.

Breeze is set to launch its new Airbus A220 aircraft, which are some of the most comfortable, quiet and spacious aircraft in the sky, during the second quarter of 2022.

Stay tuned for new services from well-known airlines.

United Airlines, for example, is strengthening its transatlantic network in the summer of 2022, adding new flights to Bergen in Norway, the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca and the Canary Island of Tenerife, Ponta Delgada in the Azores and Amman in Jordan. .

The airline is also increasing its services to London, with additional flights from Boston, Newark, Denver and San Francisco, as well as adding additional services to Munich, Milan, Berlin, Dublin and Rome from its hubs.

If international travel continues to be complicated this year, airlines will want to keep their planes flying.

This means that they are likely to be placed on routes that they believe will make more money; in this case, domestic routes (such as in the USA, India or China, or within the Schengen area of ​​Europe).

It’s worth looking at rate offers, but make sure they’re refundable.

Renovated airports

A completely new terminal will open in New York's LaGuardia Airport in 2022.

A completely new terminal will open in New York’s LaGuardia Airport in 2022.

Samuel Rigelhaupt / Sipa USA / AP

After a burst of opening of international airports in recent years, 2022 will be relatively quiet in this regard.

However, some very welcome new terminals will be launched in New York.

First: Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport, home of Delta Air Lines, which will open in the spring. This new terminal will undoubtedly be a great improvement for the passenger experience.

The new Terminal A (formerly called Terminal One, a bit confusing) will be launched in Newark, on the other side of the Hudson River from Manhattan, later this year.

On the other side of the Pacific, Bangkok’s main Suvarnabhumi Airport will open its new 1 satellite terminal in October, following numerous programming delays linked to the slowdown in tourism during the pandemic.

In addition, Chennai International Airport will open its own new terminal, which will replace terminals 2 and 3 now demolished this year, while the expansion of the three-tier terminal at Australia’s Gold Coast Airport must be completed.

South of the Indian Ocean, 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 new terminals.

New facilities are to be opened in Pune, Andaman / Port Blair and Leh in India, Provo in the US state of Utah, Columbia in Missouri and Tacloban in the Philippines.

Aircraft deliveries

An Airbus A220 aircraft at the Airbus Canada LP assembly and finishing site in Quebec, Canada.

An Airbus A220 aircraft at the Airbus Canada LP assembly and finishing site in Quebec, Canada.

Graham Hughes / Bloomberg / Getty Images

The aviation industry tends to oscillate between two ways: “sell new planes” and “build those planes.” Right now we are in the latter, with more of the latest planes arriving from the factories.

These include the Airbus A320neo, A350 and A330neo family and the Boeing 737 Max and 787 Dreamliner.
Airbus has been moving forward with deliveries (460 in late October, the latest data set the company has released) despite the pandemic, and the airliner plans to build even more of its popular A320neo family. especially the longer A321neos. which can hold up to 244 passengers in a totally economical design.

Boeing, of course, has had a major delay from Max since its safety grounding, while Dreamliner deliveries have been stalled for more than a year due to production quality issues.

But eventually they will resume and it is likely that airlines will put the aircraft into service directly.

This has been the case with Singapore Airlines, which is putting its 737 Max 8 aircraft stored and newly built directly into the sky with a brand new cockpit.

The same is happening at flydubai, airline 737 which is an associate airline of Emirates.

However, don’t expect to see Boeing’s massive 777X in 2022. While at some point it was scheduled for next year, the first deliveries aren’t expected until 2023 or 2024 now.

But passengers are likely to see more planes like the Airbus A321LR (for long range) in 2022. An increasing number of these planes are taking place, which means more direct flights to a central destination instead of connecting through a hub.

In 2023, stay tuned for the A321XLR; you guessed it, this is Extra Long Range.

Updated seats and cabins

Singapore Airlines unveiled its new cabin offering for its 737 Max 8 aircraft in November 2021.

Singapore Airlines unveiled its new cabin offering for its 737 Max 8 aircraft in November 2021.

Ore Huiying / Bloomberg / Getty Images

While this particular “construction” mode is less fun for airplane fans at air shows, it’s great news for passengers.

Newer aircraft with updated seats, newer entertainment systems, seat power, and faster Wi-Fi are currently in full “build” mode and are quickly reaching airlines.

For those flying in business class in particular, this would mean more mini suites with privacy doors and all the bells and whistles they could wish for.

Meanwhile, a growing number of aircraft are being equipped with premium economy sections. Emirates is the latest airline to add the mid-cabin, announcing an upcoming 18-month program to install premium economy seats on a whopping 105 Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft.

Economy cabs will also receive some technology upgrades in the form of fast-charging USB-C sockets, on-board entertainment systems that integrate with phone apps, allowing passengers to use Bluetooth headsets.

Other notable upgrades include space-saving seats that move those kneeling support structures out of the way of the legs to make passengers feel a little more space on board, even if the seats are in the air. same distance.

Interestingly, with so many older planes being withdrawn during the pandemic, it is more likely than ever that passengers will be able to fly on a newer plane with better entertainment and more comfort in 2022.

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