This article was originally published on ‘Could Hult Students Reinvent Air Travel?‘.

In June, students from around the world were challenged to re-invent the status quo of air travel at the fourth annual Airbus Fly Your Ideas challenge. After receiving over 500 entries to the competition, a team of over 50 Airbus experts and innovators selected the best 100 concepts for the next round—including an MBA team of students from Hult Boston.

Tapan Shah, Kanika Sharma and Eduardo Luis Caceras have joined forces to form Air Hult, focusing on a cabin design overhaul to increase passenger’s onboard enjoyment. Their solution falls under the affordable growth area of the competition.  All members possess not only a passion for the airline industry but also experience; Eduardo Luis Caceres worked directly with American Airlines in his previous position in Peru and Shah and Sharma bring IT experience from working on various accounts, including British Airways.

When classes began this past September, the trio formed the Travel and Hospitality Club to bring together shared interests in a variety of fields related to the airline and hotel industries. After connecting with Hult Alum, Juan Manual Piedra Alvarez, to advise the club, he helped bring attention and excitement to the Airbus Fly Your Ideas challenge. “It seemed like a natural extension of what we wanted to do here” Caceras said, “and a lot of work still needs to be done. Our ideas are good but we now need to support them with evidence.”

Ian Lane, Airbus Senior Expert and Fly Your Ideas Assessor commented: “We passionately debate and review each idea. It is an absolute privilege and inspiration to see such imaginative, unrestrained thinking from the student teams.” He adds:

“As aviation professionals, we have insight into which developments and patents are already in the pipeline, so the idea has to be genuinely new. It could be something very simple, used in a new context or combined with an element in a way we haven’t seen before.”

“Simple things do work,” said Tapan of their developing idea, with the details remaining a secret while the competition is ongoing. The second round will be the opportunity to gain feedback from Airbus, seek mentor advice and continue to cultivate their idea.  At this stage teams are given access to Airbus infrastructure, as well as time with an Airbus Expert to ensure their ideas are implementable.  “We are most excited about all of this unexplored territory, developing our idea from scratch and learning,” team member Kanika Sharma added.  Round two proposals are due by the end of March. Five teams will then be selected for the finals in June. The winners will share the top prize of 30,000 Euros.

Each year over 1,000 commercial airlines operate more that 15,000 airliners, carrying 3.1 billion people and 51.7 million tons of freight. An Airbus aircraft takes off or lands every two seconds. Since it’s inception in 2008, Fly Your Ideas has attracted global involvement from 11,000 students from 600 universities in over 100 countries.

Airbus Fly Your Ideas is a biennial global competition aimed at solving 21st century challenges for the aviation industry. The challenge offers students a unique opportunity to put their classroom learning and research to the test, by working with a team of aviation professionals on real-world challenges, going beyond the aircraft itself. It offers students a chance to apply their creativity in an exceptional learning environment that will equip them in a highly competitive job market.

Kickstart your career in this education and innovation hotspot by studying at Hult’s Boston business school. To find out more, take a look at our blog Life in Boston: Introducing Hult House. Download a brochure or get in touch today to find out how Hult can help you to learn about the business world, the future, and yourself.