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Budget Airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air Race to Lower CO2 Emissions

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06/14/2019 | 09:29am EDT

By Dieter Holger

European budget airlines Ryanair Holdings and Wizz Air Holdings are racing to lower their carbon-dioxide emissions and attract environmentally-minded flyers.

The airline industry has become one of the fastest-growing sources of emissions, partly due to more affordable air travel. Aviation emissions have doubled in the last 20 years and are responsible for an estimated 4.9% of man-made global warming, according to Transport & Environment, a campaign group.

Ryanair started disclosing its emissions after European Union figures released in April showed it became the first airline to enter the top ten polluters in Europe across all industries. The Irish company heralded itself as "Europe's greenest" airline earlier this month, saying it emits an average of 66 grams of CO2 per passenger per kilometer as of May.

But Wizz Air is now zooming past its competitor when it comes to emissions savings, according to data disclosed by the Hungarian airline on Friday for the first time.

Wizz Air, which now claims to be "the greenest airline in Europe," said that in May it emitted 56.5 grams of CO2 per passenger per kilometer, 16% lower than its competitor.

The airline put the savings down to its fleet of Airbus SE aircraft, which have an average age of 4.7 years. Wizz has more than 250 Airbus A321neo aircraft on order and predicts it will lower its environmental footprint further, decreasing emissions for every passenger by one-third by 2030.

"We have set ambitious goals for ourselves to further reduce the impact on the environment by deploying the latest state-of-the-art technology," Wizz Air chief executive Jozsef Varadi said.

Write to Dieter Holger at dieter.holger@dowjones.com; @dieterholger

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AIR FRANCE-KLM -0.16% 8.962 Real-time Quote.-5.34%
AIRBUS SE -0.42% 132.08 Real-time Quote.57.96%
AIRBUS SE 1.50% 132.52 End-of-day quote.58.23%
AIRBUS SE 0.00%End-of-day quote.0.00%
LUFTHANSA GROUP AG -0.59% 15.195 Delayed Quote.-22.41%
RYANAIR HOLDINGS -0.24% 10.38 Delayed Quote.-3.21%
RYANAIR HOLDINGS -0.48% 10.38 Delayed Quote.-2.52%
WIZZ AIR HOLDINGS PLC -1.58% 3623 Delayed Quote.31.26%
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