ABOVE: Two of artist Kauko Helavuo's visions for Finnair's future fleet: the A140 Space (right) and the A100 Space (left). magine a world where space travel holidays are an easy option, where aircraft zip between cities in Europe and Asia in less than three hours, where huge coastal cities are connected over oceans by low flying express planes, and where the debate about aviation's claims of sustainability are well and truly settled in the industry's favour. That's the scenario described in a new book, Departure 2093: Five Visions of Future Flying, published this autumn to mark Finnair's 85th anniversary. Sceptics may dismiss such a vision as fanciful science fiction, but they might be too hasty, as well as missing out on the fun. After all, the concept of manned flight in any shape or form would have been dismissed as a joke before Montgolfiere launched his first balloon in 1783. "Every company needs a vision, with scenarios for the immediate future as well as for the longer term," says Christer Haglund, FinI nair's senior vice president and coordinator for the Departure 2093 project. "Finnair is one of the longest-established airlines, but while history and experience are important, you cannot change history. But you can change the future. We expressed our unique ten-year company vision Vision 2017 this year, and our 85th birthday is a good time to look ahead another 85 years. At the same time, the only thing we know for sure, apart from the fact that it is bound to grow enormously, is that aviation won't likely be as we imagine it!" A PLATFORM FOR DISCUSSION The idea, says Haglund, is not to devise hard and fast predictions but to create a platform for discussions about the future. The project involves participation from industrial services giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers and aircraft manufacturers Airbus, both of which lend credibility to the technological and industrial NOVEMBER 2008 BLUE WINGS 59
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