Budget carrier EasyJet has embarked on a major promotional campaign aimed at putting forward the industry’s green credentials, which includes a call for the UK’s air passenger duty (APD) to be replaced by a tax based on aircraft type and distance travelled.
The move - which includes publication of a report into aviation’s contribution to climate change and a national newspaper advertising campaign – is timed to coincide with the UK political conference season. EasyJet says the campaign is aimed at encouraging politicians in the UK – where aviation and its environmental impact has come under high profile debate – to adopt a “more intelligent approach” to air travel.
EasyJet CEO Andy Harrison says: “It is important that mechanisms are put in place to ensure the aviation industry develops in a way that is environmentally and economically sustainable and to ensure that measures for aviation are proportionate with its impact on climate change.
“However, much of the recent political debate has been characterised by gesture politics and discriminatory, often contradictory proposals and it is time for consumers to tell the politicians they won’t be ‘green-rollered’ into accepting higher air taxes for spurious green rationale.”
The carrier is proposing the UK’s APD – controversially doubled earlier this year as part of government efforts to combat environmental concerns – be scrapped and replaced with a tax based on aircraft type and distance travelled.
“Politicians must incentivise consumers to take the greener option when it is available – this means banning the dirty, old aircraft from our skies; getting the right tax regime in place to reward cleaner behaviour; being realistic about the value of aviation and resisting the temptation to advocate alternatives when no such alternatives exist,” says Harrison.
As part of the campaign, EasyJet has published a report – subtitled “the surprising truth about flying and the environment” – on the issue of aviation’s climate contribution.