Airports ought to deal with all travellers with significance and supply them an excellent journey expertise relatively than viewing them as “money cows”, the chief govt of Saudi Arabia’s Neom Airports has mentioned.
“All passengers must be considered as VIPs, not money cows or self-loading cargo. We should construct … legacy-free airports and concentrate on enabling faster and quicker passenger journeys,” John Selden mentioned in a weblog.
Airports shouldn’t be thought-about as major revenue centres, however ought to assist individuals and stimulate financial development for communities, cities and nations, he mentioned.
“Each buyer ought to really feel like an honoured visitor. And each journey ought to really feel like a pleasure,” Mr Selden mentioned.
“That method, individuals will arrive at their locations with an awesome feeling of positivity. If we are able to do all that, individuals may not really feel that they need to exit an airport as rapidly as is humanly potential.”
Neom Bay Airport, which serves the $500 billion Neom good metropolis being developed in Saudi Arabia, is already operational.
It at present has flights operated by nationwide airline Saudia. Dubai provider Flydubai additionally introduced plans this month to start out flights to the vacation spot.
Neom, which goals to be house to hundreds of thousands of residents by 2030, hopes to start out attracting vacationers in 2024, in accordance with Neom’s head of tourism.
It will likely be house to a lot of vacationer points of interest, together with the Crimson Sea and the Trojena mountain vacation spot — which can have a ski slope, mountain biking, watersports and an interactive nature reserve.
In the meantime, Neom Airways can also be anticipated to start out operations subsequent 12 months, mentioned its chief govt Klaus Goersch.
Trojena will open in 2026 as a part of Saudi Arabia’s megacity of the longer term. Photograph: Neom
Covid-19, which struck in 2020, devastated the aviation trade and compelled airways to take unprecedented measures to outlive.
The pandemic is predicted to have modified the construction of the trade, reshaped the way in which through which the general public thinks about journey and redefined a brand new regular for airways, airports and passengers, say many analysts.
Mr Selden mentioned good airports are the way forward for the aviation trade.
“A disruptive mindset, best-in-class information and modern tech will help. The same old sources of delay — akin to immigration, baggage dealing with and boarding — will be optimised. Biometrics will permit us to unlock time financial savings throughout the board,” he mentioned.
For instance, facial recognition can hyperlink faces to baggage within the terminal as individuals stroll by way of the airport. Expertise will let the luggage be delivered straight to the vacation spot, whether or not or not it’s a house or a resort, relatively than passengers having to hold them round, Mr Selden mentioned.
Synthetic intelligence may also information passengers across the airport in the identical method Google Maps helps individuals attain their locations.
With Neom Airways, improvements within the air would possibly even embody horizontal seats in all lessons and “maybe a greater technique to handle hand baggage that doesn’t require you to retailer a bag above your head”, he mentioned.
Mr Selden cautioned that passenger visitors is rising quick and airports must be geared up higher to deal with it successfully and keep away from chaos.
This 12 months, passenger numbers are anticipated to surpass 4 billion for the primary time since 2019, with 4.2 billion travellers anticipated to fly, in accordance with trade physique the Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation.
Mr Seldon mentioned the aviation trade will face “worse to come back”, until it takes steps to satisfy this problem.
“By 2050, forecasters are predicting that the variety of passengers will develop by an element of two.5 on the pre-Covid ranges of 2019. If we feature on regardless, it should imply chaos for airways, airports and worse nonetheless clients,” he mentioned.
Up to date: March 24, 2023, 6:00 PM