It took Christopher Columbus more than two months to reach the Americas by sea in 1492. Since the first flight of the Wright Brothers in 1903 and the real take -off of commercial aviation in the 1950s, it is now hard to imagine tourism, trade, commerce and even war without air travel. Air travel is now acknowledged as the swiftest form of transportation in the modern era.
Tourism and Business Travel
Millions of tourists can now travel to exotic destinations and islands and remotely located countries with rich histories far quicker than earlier eras. Thanks to air travel, business travelers can travel on short notice for deal making, negotiations and exploring new business opportunities to local and international locations.
Commercial Air Freight
The demand for perishable foods and other goods and items in a more globalized world trade environment is tremendous. Air travel has tremendously changed the dynamics of the commercial freight business.
Airplanes and helicopters are often the best way to reach flood-prone countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka in order to provide relief. Quick evacuation of disease-stricken people and other affected evacuees in remote drought and famines stricken regions of Africa is only possible with the help of airplanes.
Emergency Diplomatic Trips
The post-Cold War era World Order is still rife with many potential conflict zones, insurgency issues and threats posed by failed nation-states. For keeping back-door diplomatic channels open and also to foster quick on-the-ground dialogues with allied nations, foreign secretaries ,troubleshooting envoys and emissaries of the big-league powers such as USA, UK, France, Germany etc. need to fly around the world at short notice.
In developed countries and advanced Western economies, small aircraft and helicopters are often used to airlift accident victims quickly to Emergency Rooms and nearby hospitals. Many victims in deadly crashes get saved primarily due to immediate air travel.
Whenever leaders, politicians and other statesmen important to the political future of developing countries suffer from debilitating illnesses or other serious ailments, they are often flown in private aircraft to better-run and highly advanced hospitals in developed nations.