Jet2 boss urges pan-European backing to speed up aviation decarbonisation

More “tangible” backing from governments in the UK and Europe is needed to help speed up decarbonisation of the aviation sector.

The plea came today from the boss of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays as the company released an updated sustainability strategy.

A new 2024-35 climate transition plan aims to bring the company’s carbon intensity in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) guidance by 2035.

Jet2’s strategy includes a minimum of 15% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the total fuel mix by 2035, continued fleet renewal with up to 146 new Airbus A321/A320neo aircraft and adopting fuel-saving technologies.

The company is demanding the UK government “upscales” investment in SAF “to turbocharge the creation of new jobs, technologies and supply chains”. 

Jet2 argues that this can be achieved by delivering a revenue certainty mechanism for SAF, far sooner than 2026, which is the government’s current delivery plan.

It also wants to see annual UK Emissions Trading Scheme revenues used to incentivise decarbonisation and support the development of technologies such as direct air carbon capture.

Whitehall must also work multilaterally with governments across Europe to implement reforms in air traffic management, where progress remains “painfully slow”.

Airport operators should also be supported to “detangle the challenges around upgrades to electrical infrastructure”.

Jet2 and Jet2holidays chief executive Steve Heapy said: “I am proud of what we have achieved since launching our first sustainability strategy in 2021. 

“We have invested in new and more fuel-efficient aircraft, as well as in SAF production here in the UK. We have launched a Certified Sustainable Hotels collection, removed millions of single use plastics from onboard our aircraft and met our carbon intensity reduction targets to date.”

He added: “Today we are publishing an updated strategy which is bolder in ambition and outlines an emissions reduction pathway which will bring Jet2.com’s 2035 carbon intensity in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) guidance. 

“Critically, this emissions pathway is realistic and achievable because it is based on technologies and actions that we know are available and can be taken currently, rather than what may or may not be available in the future. In addition, we will also be closely monitoring to see where we can invest in and embrace new technologies.

“Our strategy clearly sets out our vision to accelerate our sustainability journey whilst supporting our colleagues and the communities where we operate.

“What is now required is more tangible government support, both here in the UK and in Europe, to help aviation decarbonise faster. The opportunity is right in front of us and the UK can become a global leader in SAF, carbon capture and decarbonisation technology with the right support from Government, but the time to act has to be now.”

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