Over the years we have got use to images of aircraft manufacturing CEOs posing proudly beside models of their latest creations. Remember Boeing head Alan Mulally and his Sonic Cruiser a few years ago?
So it is with some surprise that the latest such image features not a Mulally type, but an airline CEO type: the CEO in question is easyJet boss Andrew Harrison.
Here he is posing in front of the “easyJet ecoJet”, an aircraft concept he unveiled today (14 June) in London that he wants to deliver huge environmental benefits.
EasyJet wants the next generation of “short-haul super-clean aircraft” by 2015. This is in fact exactly the consensus of most operators when polled by Airline Business recently about when they want to put a next generation narrowbody to replace the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737.
Harrison sets out a demanding target for the new jet compared to present types:
• 25% quieter
• 50% less carbon dioxide emissions
• 75% less nitrogen dioxide emissions.
Further details are available from a Q&A on its website.
What at first glance might sound a publicity grab is in fact a smart move by easyJet. Based as it is in one of Europe’s most environmentally sensitive markets – the UK – it knows it has to press the green button, and hard.
It will be interesting to see how Airbus and Boeing, and the engine manufacturers, react to the promptings of one of the world’s most prominent low-cost carriers.
I think I will ask them at next week’s Paris Air Show.