Cityvisitor blog

A momentous few days in the air travel industry

It has been a monumental couple of days in the world of air transport, for good and bad.

Firstly, the good. Entrepreneur Elon Musk has captured the world’s attention for a long time, with his ideas for space exploration and installing civilisation on Mars.

Last week at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, he said that he wants to start sending people to Mars in 2024.

His company SpaceX has built a new type of rocket that aims to be totally reusable, with most space travel being so expensive because rockets only last one mission.

The aim is to transport people to Mars and the Moon.

But another way the rocket would be used is for travel on our fair planet. He says journeys from London to New York would take just 29 minutes and that you could go anywhere on Earth in under one hour.

The vision is remarkable, and hopefully the timescale will be sooner rather than later given the turmoil that has befallen the airline industry recently.

Ryanair started this by cancelling thousands of flights because of problems with pilot holidays.

Monarch have then gone bust this morning, meaning that 860,000 people have lost bookings, and 110,000 people are stranded overseas.

The company lost a staggering £291m last year due to terror attacks in Tunisia and Egypt, increased competition and the weakening of the pound after Brexit.

I can’t imagine the frustration I would be feeling if I had booked a holiday with the company.

Even worse, if you had to be back in Britain to get back to work, to be told that your flight was cancelled, must be causing a huge amount of panic for people abroad.

It has created a horrible situation that is totally out of passengers’ control.

Would situations such as the Monarch one happen if we had rocket-travel? Time may be the only thing that can tell us the answer to this. 

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