‘Hypersonic airliners and 4,000mph vacuum tube trains are the future of business travel’

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
9 December 2013

Hypersonic airliners, vacuum tube trains and holographic meetings are the future of business travel, according to AirPlus.

In a report the corporate payment solutions company predicts that shifts in economic power, social and cultural changes and infrastructure, technological and environmental changes will have a dramatic effect on travel over the next 50 years.

The report said supersonic air travel will reduce all journeys to two-and-a-half hours or less, while trains running in airless tubes on magnetic fields will be able to travel at “up to 4,000mph”.

Meanwhile, costs will rise as natural resources “dry up” and travel for internal meetings will be replaced by hologram video conferencing.

Travel management companies will no longer fulfil bookings, which will instead be made exclusively online directly with suppliers, and company-wide travel programmes will cease to exist as “travellers will make informed travel choices”, according to the report.

“Buying behaviour will be managed through total connectivity with technology rather than annual requests for proposals. Focus will then shift to supporting the traveller en route and the company when the traveller is put at risk. As a result, responsibility for travel will change from procurement to HR or facilities management,” said the report.

Managing director Yael Klein said: “Looking into the future of business travel is tough, as so many factors influence the industry. An ongoing tug of war will inevitably occur between cultural changes in the way people will want to live their lives, economic developments of those nations that will emerge as more powerful than the west, and the environmental factors which will urge the population to think ever more about the effect their actions have on the planet’s wellbeing.”


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