Emirates Airline, Aviation X Lab and AREA 2071 launch global competition for post Covid-19 customer travel solutions

New Delhi

The Aviation X Lab, situated in AREA 2071 within the Dubai Future District, is an aviation initiative led by Emirates Airline, Thales, Collins Aerospace, GE Aviation and Airbus. Today, the Aviation X Lab launched a virtual competition in partnership with AREA 2071 for international start-ups, companies and organizations of all sizes to submit market-ready solutions to reinvigorate the consumer travel industry. The ‘traveler wellbeing’ challenge is open to submissions from international businesses – from start-ups to corporates – whose innovative, market-ready solutions will improve health and safety standards for consumer travel and restore confidence to global travel markets.

Importantly, submissions are not limited to the traveler journey; the Aviation X Lab are looking at solutions and products that the traveler can continue using after they arrive at their destination. From an unlimited field of applicants, a top eight (8) will be selected to pitch directly to the Aviation X Lab Board, following a three-day virtual workshop with the AREA 2071 and the Aviation X Lab team which focuses on the requirements of the world-renowned brands and prepping the teams for the final pitch.

Successful submissions will be determined by the Aviation X Lab Board, which comprises a representative from each founding partner entity, based on six base criteria: the fit to the challenge, market readiness, scalability, degree of innovation, credibility to deliver, and impact of the product. From the final eight, selected entities will work in collaboration with Emirates to roll-out their travel solutions across Dubai in the coming months.

Aviation X Lab spokesperson Amna Al Redha: “Global aviation and travel are key industries that generate tremendous economic and social value. The pandemic has hit these industries hard, but it also presents opportunities to rethink existing industry practices or offer travelers new products and services. We’re calling on the international business community to bring their innovative market solutions to us so that we can inspire greater confidence in the industry and enable people to do what they’re desperate to do again and travel the world in the safest, and most sustainable way possible.” The aviation challenge is part of AREA 2071’s efforts in creating unique programs and industry specific challenges in collaboration with government and private organizations to disrupt and further innovate strategic sectors in Dubai. AREA 2071, an innovation ecosystem led by the Dubai Future Foundation, further connects and creates synergies between likeminded individuals and organizations, driving Dubai’s innovation landscape.

Saeed Al Falasi, Executive Director – Future Design and Acceleration at the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF): “DFF has always held the mandate of future foresight and supporting key sectors to grow and innovate through employing emerging technologies. Through our innovation ecosystem, AREA 2071, and our ability to curate tailored programs, DFF not only supports organizations in analyzing and identifying their challenges, but also connects them with the right startups and solution providers to transform those challenges into innovative idea. Through our collaborating with the Aviation X Lab we aim to bring about much needed innovative solutions that would revive travelers’ confidence and trust in the industry.”

He added: “The challenge launched by Emirates Airline and through the Aviation X Lab is a key opportunity for local and global companies to quickly pivot and develop innovative solutions that not only ensure the safety and health of travelers but also redesign the whole aviation industry, allowing one of the most dynamic sectors to pick up even stronger and soar high again.”