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No airport check-in, just trains from home to flight: Dubai airports chief reveals future of travel – News


Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 5:33 p.m.

Travel experiences are undergoing a rapid transformation in the ever-evolving landscape of the aviation sector. Imagine a scenario where an eco-friendly train picks you up seamlessly from your community and transports you directly to the plane terminal bound for your desired destination. The innovative approach enhances convenience and provides ample time for duty-free shopping before your trip.

That is the future of aviation in the coming decades, according to Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. Speaking during the Dubai Airshow 2023 on Tuesday, Griffiths gave a glimpse into what the future holds for the aviation sector.

Speaking about his vision, Griffiths said: “We need to think about how we can integrate transport with local communities; we can make trains completely sustainable so they run on clean energy. If we can provide a very quick external record where it is dropped your bag and sit on a comfortable train that will take you directly to the gate closest to your plane.”

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, at a session at the Dubai Airshow on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Photo by Shihab

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, at a session at the Dubai Airshow on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Photo by Shihab

Autonomous connected rooms

People converge on airports from different places only to find themselves waiting in queues upon arrival. They then go through another round of redeployment to various sections of the airport before finally boarding their flights.

“The design we are looking at at Al Maktoum International Airport is to have a series of connected self-contained concourses. We don’t see a mega terminal in the future if the right technology is used. The journey can be intimate – you get on the train in the carriage that marks New York and arrives at the concourse where your flight to New York awaits you. There are no long walking distances and there is plenty of time to shop before getting on the plane. It is a much more pleasant experience for customers. “

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Dubai International Airport is about to revolutionize the check-in and departure process. Cutting-edge AI technologies to usher in a new era of seamless travel, eliminating traditional hassles and optimizing the overall passenger experience.

The CEO continued: “In the future, we wouldn’t have to check in at all. The idea is that if you travel in one of the premium cabins and you have a limousine (limousine), you should be able to check in. while you’re in transit. It should be about dropping off your suitcase and getting on the plane.”

Experiences, not brands

The head of Dubai Airports stressed that airports should be a welcoming place, where travelers enjoy and live new experiences.

“What malls do is more about the experience than the actual products. From the way brands invest in advertising now, you can instantly tell how different their current campaigns are from those of 20 years ago. Now it’s all about human immersion and how you feel. It’s much more about human connection. “We look for experiences.”

Citing an example, he said people earlier wanted to own Ferraris and Porsches. “Now talk to Generation Z; they don’t like brands; They like experiences. I want the new generation to feel welcome. I want them to feel that the product they are offered is relevant. I want them to find food and beverage brands at the airport that are relevant to today’s tastes. It is not a science, and the industry can do much better,” she stated during the interview on the topic “Future technology and sustainable transportation hub.”

Airports are hotels.

Airports should follow the example of the hotel sector and operate like hotels. “The problem with airports is that they have forgotten what business they are in. We are like hotels; We are fundamentally in the hospitality business. “Too many people in the airport industry think they are managing the infrastructure.”

Citing an example, he revealed that he was kept waiting in queues for four hours and 40 minutes at a US airport.

“Everyone needs to recognize that traveling should be something people enjoy and not be an absolute hassle.”

No more travel agents

With technological advancements, the aviation sector should move away from legacy processes and there is no need for travel agents or third parties in the chain to distribute travel capacity, he added.

“It was very easy to build on what had already been built – putting one brick on top of another never produces the best results. With technology, you don’t have to do that. Some airline reservations are still written in a language called TPF, which already is not on the planet. We should let go of many legacy processes and start again. That is what new airlines like Riyadh Air had the opportunity to do. We do not need a third party in the chain to distribute travel capacity. We no longer “We need travel agents. We need to connect consumers directly to the product,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

The difficulty, he added, is that new airports appear to be associated with a massive increase in walking distances, something that needs to be addressed. “The legacy processes we’re dealing with have to go. It’s time to reinvent yourself.”


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