Decarbonising air travel will push up the cost of airfares and may deter people from choosing to fly.
This is according to Sustainable Aviation (SA), an alliance of the
UK’s airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers, air navigation service
providers and innovation companies in SAF (sustainable aviation fuels)
and carbon removals.
SA’s recently published Net Zero Carbon Road Map highlights the vital
role and potential for SAF and zero carbon emission technologies such
as hydrogen powered aircraft and carbon removal technologies, but also
shows that the increased cost of decarbonising aviation will inevitably
reduce passenger demand. SA said demand reduction due to the costs of
decarbonisation represents around 14% of the industry’s reduction in CO2
The modelling showed however that even with slightly higher costs,
people still want to fly, with overall growth in passenger numbers of
almost 250 million by 2050.
Matt Gorman, chair of Sustainable Aviation, said, “This is the
critical decade where aviation must prove it will decarbonise. Our
updated Net Zero Carbon Road Map shows that we have a clear, credible
path to take the carbon out of flying. Through a combination of SAF,
more efficient aircraft and airspace, zero emission planes and carbon
removals, we can protect the huge benefits of aviation for future
generations without the carbon cost.”
The EU and the US currently offer allowances and tax credits to help
close the price gap between SAF and traditional jet fuel and some states
in the US offer additional incentives for SAF production. In 2023, the
world’s first net zero transatlantic flight will take off from London to
New York, using solely sustainable aviation fuel.