EasyJet to offset carbon emissions on all flights, will relaunch package holiday business

Nov 19, 2019

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EasyJet’s famous for its bright orange and white livery. As of Tuesday, however, EasyJet is going green in a major way.

The low-cost carrier announced on Tuesday that it plans to be the world’s first major airline to operate net-zero carbon flights across its network. According to a press release, as of Tuesday, the airline will offset carbon emissions from fuel used for all flights.

EasyJet’s carbon offsetting will go through notable schemes Gold Standard and VCS. EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said that the carbon offset programme will cost about £25 million per year, according to Reuters, though admitted it’s not a long-term solution.

“We recognize that offsetting is only an interim measure, but we want to take action on our carbon emissions now”, Lundgren said.

In addition to carbon offsetting its flights, EasyJet said that it’s also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus to join a research project on hybrid and electric aircraft, with the goal of introducing sustainable aircraft operations. It’s also working with Wright Electric, Rolls-Royce and Safran to develop new technology to reduce the carbon footprint of flying.

In reality, mass electric flying is likely a long way off. But EasyJet believes that by investing in research now, it’s setting itself up to be at the forefront of the introduction of electric flying technology, having previously detailed plans to have an electric fleet by 2030.

“EasyJet has a long tradition of efficient flying — the aircraft we fly and the way we fly them means that EasyJet is already more efficient than many airlines”, Lundgren said. “However, our priority is to continue to work on reducing our carbon footprint in the short-term, coupled with long-term work to support the development of new technology, including electric planes which aspire to radically reduce the carbon footprint of aviation”.

Before Christmas this year, the airline also announced that it will relaunch its EasyJet Holidays business. The goal is for the business to fill the void left in the U.K. holiday market by the demise of Thomas Cook, though Lundgren said that EasyJet had been planning a holidays business since before the Thomas Cook collapse.

Tuesday’s announcement came as the carrier also reported a pretax net profit of £427 million — in line with guidance, though down 26% from last year largely because of rising fuel prices. However, the carrier said that bookings for first-half 2020 are “reassuring” and slightly ahead of last year.

Since 2000, the airline says that it has reduced the carbon emissions for each kilometre flown by a passenger by more than 33%.

Featured photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images.

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