EASYJET announced yesterday it was ending its carbon offsetting scheme at the end of the year in favour of a multi-million-pound investment into new aircraft technology under its roadmap to net zero by 2050.
As part of the plan, older planes will be replaced with 168 new Airbus Neos, which are 15 per cent more efficient and 50 per cent quieter.
The upgrade will cost Easyjet a total of $21bn (£19.5bn) over the next few years. The carrier will also focus on operational efficiencies as well as sustainable aviation fuels, which have already been contracted from suppliers for the next five years.
"We believe this is doable, [but] we recognise it is ambitious as well," said chief executive Johan Lundgren.
He unveiled the roadmap on Monday, saying it will help the lowcost carrier reduce its emissions per passenger kilometre by 78 per cent. Residual CO2 will be tackled through the use of carbon removal technology. Partners such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce have also pledged their support to the low-cost airline's environmental targets. Airbus will support Easyjet with the retrofitting of its entire A320 fleet with its descent profile optimisation, while Rolls-Royce is making preparations for its first hydrogen engine tests.
Francesco Ragni, aviation professor at Buckinghamshire New University, told City A.M. it was a "reasonable move" as the usefulness of carbon offsetting has been challenged.
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