What to expect in 2025
The average distance flown by jets per year will increase more than 10 percent from 2034 to 2035.
Increased demand, as more people buy third-generation jets that can fly more passengers long distances, will cause demand for pricier business-class seats to double in the next two decades.
Jet fuel will cost nearly double in 2020.
Airlines are targeting more and more passengers as business-class fare revenues increase.
Jets will be smaller and more fuel-efficient, and there will be more class options (at least in theory).
Business-class seats will offer more amenity kits.
Jets will be launched in more unusual configurations — for example, a plane with 350-plus seats.
The cockpit will look different — bigger, more varied displays.
Lack of distance from ordinary service passengers to the cockpit could also lead to dashboard interfaces that make more sense on planes.
What’s already taking shape
The world’s biggest jet manufacturer already has the things planned and ready to go, all based on estimates of future demand.
A bigger global market has led to wide-body growth. Of the 488 new planes worth $165 billion expected to be delivered in the next 20 years, Airbus says 64 percent will be bigger than the 777. That’s compared with 51 percent for smaller planes, including those from Boeing and Bombardier, respectively.
In the U.S., home to Boeing and Airbus, the largest number of passengers in the next two decades will still be on the 800-plus-seat Boeing 747. As the economy grows and more people travel, flying to vacation will become popular for business-class passengers, too.