Airlines UK boss reaffirms sustainable aviation manifesto as general election called

Airlines UK boss reaffirms sustainable aviation manifesto as general election called
Virgin Atlantic is one of a number of airline members of the trade body (Image credit: Markus Mainka/Adobe Stock)

The CEO of Airlines UK has said there is “no time to lose” for the government to deliver a plan for a sustainable aviation industry.

It comes after the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak this week announced that a general election will take place on 4 July.

Tim Alderslade, CEO of trade body Airlines UK, wrote in a LinkedIn post on Thursday: “The general election has been called and UK airlines look forward to working with the next government to deliver world-class connectivity, economic growth and net zero aviation and green prosperity.

“There is no time to lose, with key priorities including legislating for the SAF [sustainable aviation fuel] mandate in time for its January 2025 start date, primary legislation in the King’s Speech for a government-backed SAF revenue support mechanism – critical to unlocking UK production – alongside committing to a 10-year programme of funding for hydrogen aviation R&D support, whilst completing airspace modernisation by the end of the decade.”

He added: “Critically, the UK must remain an internationally competitive place to base and run an airline, safeguarding the over one million jobs UK airlines support.

The King’s Speech is an annual event where King Charles III will lay out the government’s legislative agenda for the next year on the government’s behalf.

Airlines UK’s manifesto was published in March, and outlines that for the UK to lead in the decarbonisation of flight, policymakers must legislate to ramp up production of SAF whilst lowering the cost and increasing its availability for airlines.

The manifesto also calls for a 10-year hydrogen fuel research & development programme, alongside “policy stability” to support airlines’ investment in hydrogen flight “needed in the 2030s and 2040s”.

The body further demands the completion of the UK’s Airspace Modernisation Programme by the end of the decade to reduce delays for passengers, boost capacity and cut carbon and noise pollution.