easyJet commits to net zero-carbon flights as ancillary income jumps 14%

By Luke Barras-hill |


Source: easyJet.

Low-cost carrier easyJet announced today it will offset its carbon emissions for every flight as it pushes for an air travel ‘u-turn’ on sustainability grounds.

The move is forecast to cost £25m/$32m in the financial year ending 30 September 2020.

In a circular issued this morning, easyJet declared history had been made on flight EJU5841 from Berlin Tegel to Vienna.


It said: “We believe flying is important – the opportunity to go abroad, to spend time with family and friends, to do business face-to-face and experience other cultures. But we have to balance this with the effect we know it’s having on the planet.

“So for every flight we operate, we’ll offset the carbon it produces by investing in projects that include planting trees or protecting against deforestation. Making flying better and more affordable for everyone has always been part of our DNA. Becoming the world’s first major airline to offset carbon emissions from the fuel used for all flights is just one more step on our journey.”


Source: easyJet.

For every tonne of carbon dioxide emitted, easyJet says it will ensure there is one less tonne in the atmosphere.

It will achieve this through either reducing Co2 by planting more trees, for example, or avoiding the release of additional pollutants.

Coinciding with its full-year 2019 results statement released today, easyJet says the decision to offset carbon emissions from the fuel used for every of its international and domestic flights is an ‘interim measure’.

The airline is aiming to ‘reinvent aviation for the long term’, including developing sustainable fuel, and hybrid and electric planes.

By committing to the changes, easyJet claims it will become the first major net-zero carbon airline.

The Luton-headquartered carrier will subscribe to carbon offsetting programmes that meet the Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard accreditations only to ensure transparency in the claims of the programmes and their efficacy.


To that end, easyJet has partnered with international advisory company Climate Focus to help with the appointment of certain projects.

In a twin announcement today, easyJet has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus to jointly assess the opportunities and challenges of introducing hybrid and electric aircraft for short-haul trips in Europe as part of its efforts to decarbonise aviation.

The new partnership supports the work it already does with Rolls Royce and Safran on new technologies, plus a project with US start-up Wright Electric. These will continue alongside the Airbus project.


Click to enlarge. Source: easyJet.

Guillaume Faury, CEO, Airbus said: “Environmental performance is a top-level priority for Airbus, and we are proud to have easyJet onboard as a partner for our hybrid and electric aircraft research.

“By focusing on research efforts on hybrid and electric propulsion technologies, we are doing just that – playing a leading role, alongside our customers, in the development of clean and safe technologies for the sustainable future of our industry.”

EasyJet says it has reduced its carbon emissions per passenger kilometre by over one third since 2000. CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre were down to 77.07gms from 78.46gms in 2018.

Johan Lundgren, CEO, easyJet said: “I am proud that [..] from today we will be the world’s first major airline to operate net-zero carbon flights across our whole network.

“We are doing this by offsetting the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of our flights. We recognise that offsetting is only an interim measure, but we want to take action on our carbon emissions now. EasyJet has a long tradition of efficient flying – the aircraft we fly and the way we fly them means that easyJet is already more efficient than many airlines.

“However, our priority is to continue to work on reducing our carbon footprint in the short term, coupled with long-term work to support the development of new technology, including electric planes, to reinvent aviation for the long-term.”


In its full-year 2019 results, revenue from *ancillaries including inflight sales jumped by 13.7% to £1,376m/$1,779m, which the carrier says reflects its sharpened customer service and improved ancillary conversion.

While reported ancillary revenue per seat rose by 3.1% to £13.10, total reported revenue per seat decreased by 1.8% to £60.81 year-on-year.


Click to enlarge. Source: easyJet.

“The decrease in revenue per seat is a consequence of a number of contributors including Brexit-related market uncertainty coupled with a wider macroeconomic slowdown in Europe,” said the airline.

“In addition, the dilutive impact of a full period of Tegel flying, and the non-repeat of one-off benefits in 2018, such as the bankruptcies of Monarch and Air Berlin, also impacted our performance.”

Passenger numbers for the year ending 30 September jumped by 8.6% to 96.1m, with total revenue up 8.3% to £6,385m.

Headline profit before tax sank on the other hand sank by 26% to £427m. Capacity increased by 10.3% as a result of growth across all the regions.

To read the full results statement, click here.

*Ancillary revenue includes income from the provision of checked baggage, allocated seating and change fees, as well as revenue arising from commissions earned from services sold on behalf of partners and inflight sales.



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