At the Red Cabin Aircraft Cabin Innovative Summit 2020, tangerine’s Chief Creative Officer, Matt Round, and Creative Director, Dan Flashman, hosted a series of working groups made up of airlines, OEM manufactures, service providers and design studios to discuss concerns over the long-term growth of the aviation industry post-Covid-19.
Overall, the outlook was positive, to every cloud there was a silver lining.
A dramatic fall in demand due to the pandemic has seen global fleet changes, most notably a decline in the use of wide-body jets. But as we say goodbye to the large jet experience, we can also say hello to the best bits of the Boeing 747 and Airbus 380 being introduced into single-aisle cabins.
Lively group discussions highlighted three key areas for the industry to focus on: communication, behaviour and aesthetic.
With flight cancellations and disruption to service, effective and consistent communication between airlines and their customers has never been so important:
- Let passengers know what you are doing to help make their journey safer; open communication and transparency will build trust in your brand.
- Introduce certificates of cleanliness to set standards that will reassure passengers that it is safe to fly.
- Maintain the small changes to service that have been effectively established during the pandemic – show your customers how you care.
Airlines have streamlined their service and minimised staff contact to ensure appropriate social distancing, in some way this has improved the customer experience beyond what it was before:
- Investment in new digital services to streamline the passenger journey and reduce the need for physical touchpoints.
- Support passengers’ own cleaning routines as their concerns will be about ‘what did the last person do in my seat?’ Not just ‘what has the airline done to keep me safe?’
- Allow guests to determine whether they want less crew interaction to create a feeling of space, greater peace and less interruptions during a flight.
- Redesign your digital boarding pass so cabin crew don’t need to hold the mobile phone to be able see the passenger’s seat number.
- Maintain the efficient and organised boarding and alighting of the plane enforced during the pandemic.
The cabin aesthetic may change as social spaces are called into question. With online behaviours becoming more prevalent due to a shift to work from home and better onboard Wi-Fi connectivity, there will be opportunities to create new types of spaces or ticket packages. In particular:
- Most plastics are inherently antimicrobial, it’s the dirt on them that carries the germs, smoother bigger shapes will start to appear inside the cabin.
- Perhaps inspiration and learning will be coming from the healthcare environments
- Cleanliness and comfort come hand-in-hand – better choices of materials to minimise degradation, dirt and microbes will be worth investing in.
- Make the most of formally communal spaces. What are the new experiences that we can create?
We’d like to thank Red Cabin for inviting tangerine to join this year’s programme and all those who attended our working sessions. It was a blast!
If you enjoyed our Red Cabin playlist, you can listen to it here