DALLAS – UK budget carrier easyJet (U2) has updated its ambitious net-zero roadmap to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050. The airline will shift away from carbon offsetting and prioritize new technology to slash emissions by 35% by 2035.
Since November 2019, U2 has been offsetting the carbon emissions used on all flights across its network, becoming the first major airline worldwide to do so. Indeed, since 2000, easyJet has managed to reduce its carbon emissions per passenger kilometer by a third.
This has been done by adding more fuel-efficient aircraft to the fleet and introducing operational efficiencies such as single-engine taxis.
Carbon Offsetting Shift
Now the airline plans to ‘transition away from offsetting to focus on driving in-sector emission reductions.’
Long-time Airbus operator U2 will work with the European plane maker to fit technology to compatible aircraft to make descents more fuel efficient. This will include Descent Profile Optimisation (DPO) and Continuous Descent Approach (CDA). When the work has been completed, U2 will operate the world’s largest DPO and CDA-enabled fleet.
The airline also hopes to introduce more sustainable aviation fuels and become an early adopter of zero-emission aircraft “when the technology is available and commercially viable”.
U2 CEO Johan Lundgren said the latest update demonstrates the airline’s passion “to be at the forefront of challenging global aviation and the journey to net zero. Challenging the status quo is in easyJet’s DNA – from making flying affordable for everyone to leading the sector on decarbonisation.”
“And I’m really pleased that our partner Rolls Royce has also confirmed today it is making final preparations for the first hydrogen engine tests to take place,” he added.
“We will be implementing our roadmap step by step in the years to come, helping to ensure more sustainable travel is accessible to all for the benefit of the next generation and our planet.”
The announcement comes after the airline enjoyed an increase in passenger numbers during July and August. Numbers increased from 3.7 million in July 2021 to 8.1 million this year. Meanwhile, U2 carried 8.3 million in August 2022 from 5.1 million the previous year.
Featured Image: The airline has been replacing its older Airbus jets with more fuel-efficient ‘neo’ aircraft. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.