Jet2.com and Jet2holidays is calling on government to do more to support aviation, including ring-fencing hundreds of millions of pounds paid in carbon taxes to invest in technology and solutions to combat climate change.
The plea came as the UK’s second largest travel group issued a new sustainability strategy covering operations on the ground, in the air, and in resort.
Jet2’s decarbonisation plans are set out on route to net zero by 2050.
The company wants the government to “match its ambition” by doing more to support the sector.
The strategy includes a series of actions and commitments that have “meaningful positive impacts” at every stage of the journey, ensuring customers can enjoy package holidays and flights that are more environmentally sustainable.
Pledges include one of the largest offsetting schemes of any airline globally, which will see Jet2.com offset every tonne of carbon not already covered by its contribution to existing schemes from next year.
Jet2 claims to have reduced its CO2 per passenger per km by more than 19% in the past decade, a figure which stands to improve further after the company entered into an agreement to purchase up to 60 new and more efficient Airbus A321neos.
The company will also be working with a leading supplier of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to use UK-produced SAF from 2026.
At the same time the government is being urged to increase its ambitions in this area, including by ringfencing future revenues from the sector’s participation in UK Emissions Trading System as well as raising investment in sustainable aviation fuels.
Other highlights from Jet2’s sustainability strategy include:
- Carbon neutral ground operations from 2022and over 50% of ground services equipment zero carbon by 2023.
- An 80% reduction in single use plastics on aircraft by 2023(equivalent to removing 11 million items on an annual basis) on top of nine million items already removed per year.
- A hotel sustainability labelling scheme which will empower Jet2holidays customers to filter their hotel selection by sustainability.
- A Hotel Sustainability Charter to be launched in 2023 covering hotel management as well as environmental, social and economic business impact.
The company is calling on the government to:
- Ring-fence future revenues from the aviation sector’s participation in UK & EU Emissions Trading Schemes, as well any other green levies imposed on the aviation industry, and ensure they are used to deliver environmental initiatives with a particular focus on decarbonisation solutions for the aviation sector.
- Ensure the new UK Emissions Trading System reflects the difficulties and challenges facing the aviation sector today; creates a level playing field for all airlines; and avoids policy overlap and carbon leakage.
- Upscale the UK Government’s investment in sustainable aviation fuels and other aviation decarbonisation technologies, which will help seize the global opportunity and turbocharge the new jobs, technologies and supply chains connected to this industry of the future, many of which will be in disadvantaged communities.
- Work multilaterally with governments across Europe to implement air traffic management reforms, removing the current system inefficiencies which could immediately realise a 10% carbon emissions reduction from air traffic.
Chief executive Steve Heapy said: “Economically, socially and culturally, travel is a force for good. We have already taken many steps to make Jet2.com one of the most environmentally efficient airlines in the world, and we are continuing our work to become more sustainable in the air, on the ground and in resort.
“Today is a proud milestone that sets us on a flightpath to decarbonisation and details how our customers can enjoy package holidays from Jet2holidays and scheduled holiday flights with Jet2.com that are more environmentally sustainable. This is demonstrated by our new order for up to 60 Airbus A321neo aircraft, which is in our view, the most efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft in its class today.
“However, we cannot do this on our own. The government must do more to help our industry to decarbonise – starting by being transparent and investing the proceeds of the UK and EU Emissions Trading Schemes, as well any other green levies imposed on the aviation industry, into decarbonisation.
“Britain has the opportunity to lead the world in sustainable aviation fuels, and diverting the taxes paid by airlines towards helping this industry take off is quite simply the right thing to do for both the economy and the environment.”
Dr Andy Jefferson, programme director at Sustainable Aviation, welcomed the sustainability strategy “which clearly supports the UK-wide aviation industry commitments to net zero emissions by 2050 plus interim 2030 and 2040 targets set in June 2021.”