EasyJet to offset carbon emissions for all flights

Passengers board an easyJet plane at the Nantes Atlantique airport in France. Airlines are under increasing pressure to reduce emissions. (Reuters)
Updated 20 November 2019

EasyJet to offset carbon emissions for all flights

  • Airline works with US startup to produce electric plane for short-haul flights

LONDON: Britain’s easyJet aims to become the world’s first major airline to operate
net-zero carbon flights across its entire network, it said on Tuesday after posting full-year profit toward the top end of expectations.

In addition to the plans to offset emissions from flying, the budget carrier also announced that it would launch easyJet Holidays in Britain by the festive period, offering its own beach and city breaks after the demise of tour operator Thomas Cook.

The carbon offset programs will cost about £25 million ($32.4 million) a year, though Chief Executive Johan Lundgren acknowledged that longer-term solutions are also needed.

“We recognize that offsetting is only an interim measure, but we want to take action on our carbon emissions now,” he said.

Airlines have come under increasing pressure to reduce emissions in the face of the growing “flight shame” movement, formed in Lundgren’s native Sweden.

British Airways owner IAG has said that it will carbon-offset its domestic flights, but moves toward more sustainable fuel or even hybrid or electric planes will take years.

HIGHLIGHTS

● Need to decarbonize aviation.

● Plans to launch easyJet Holidays.

● Better pricing expected next year.

Over the past two years easyJet worked with Wright Electric, which aims to produce an all-electric commerical plane to be used for short-haul flights.

The announcements came as easyJet reported headline pretax profit of £427 million, compared with guidance last month of a figure between £420 million and £430 million. That was down 26 percent from last year because of rising fuel prices and a tough operating environment.

The airline said that forward bookings for the first half of the 2020 financial year were “reassuring” and slightly ahead of last year, reiterating that capacity growth would be toward the lower end of historic guidance between 3 percent and 8 percent.

Analysts at RBC said consensus estimates for 2020 are unlikely to change, with upgrades of 5-7 percent from a better pricing environment being “masked” by the spend on carbon offsetting.

EasyJet said that the new holidays business would break even in the year to September 2020. It is expected to fly routes from Gatwick and Bristol take-off and landing slots that were acquired after the collapse of Thomas Cook, starting as early as next February. 


Trump calls for World Bank to stop lending to China

Updated 07 December 2019

Trump calls for World Bank to stop lending to China

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Friday called for the World Bank to stop giving loans to China, one day after the institution adopted a lending plan to Beijing over Washington’s objections.
The World Bank on Thursday adopted a plan to aid China with $1 billion to $1.5 billion in low-interest loans annually through June 2025. The plan calls for lending to “gradually decline” from the previous five-year average of $1.8 billion.
“Why is the World Bank loaning money to China? Can this be possible? China has plenty of money, and if they don’t, they create it. STOP!” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.
Spokespeople for the White House and the World Bank did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The World Bank loaned China $1.3 billion in the fiscal 2019 year, which ended on June 30, a decrease from around $2.4 billion in fiscal 2017.
But the fall in the World Bank’s loans to China is not swift enough for the Trump administration, which has argued that Beijing is too wealthy for international aid.