Living in the Age of Airplanes: aviation and trade


The new ‘Living in the Age of Airplanes’ film deals with a lot of themes, but without wanting to spoil it for you, it’s safe to say that the value air travel brings to trade is something that comes up. Global trade via aviation is one of those things that everyone knows is a huge driver of economies all over the world and is almost taken for granted, but when you look into some of the logistics and the time sensitivity related to them, it really is startling what products can be transported all over the world in such a short time frame.

A perfect example of this would be the international flower trade, which is a theme in the Airplanes film. You don’t have to be a horticulturalist to know that flowers in general have a fairly short life span once they are cut. Still, millions of flowers grown in around 60 exporting countries make their way to all corners of the globe via Amsterdam in enough time to be enjoyed at their final destination. In the case of Kenya, 90,000 jobs rely on the flower trade and it supports about 1.6% of the national economy. It might seem odd at first to think of something like flowers travelling so far, but the process is so well organised to be completely viable and, incidentally, thought to be less carbon intensive than growing them in European greenhouses.

Many other time sensitive products, such as fish, are transported by air all over the globe and it simply wouldn’t be possible for people in many inland areas to enjoy seafood without aviation. The Alaskan Copper River salmon market, for example, is worth about $20 million to the Alaskan economy and can be transported to restaurants far inland while still remaining fresh enough to eat.

The list goes on and ‘Living in the Age of Airplanes’ deals with the subject of international trade in a compelling way with great visuals. Make sure to book your ticket soon to find out about this and the many other topics covered in the film.