Jet2 commits to new 11-year sustainability plan to meet aviation’s emissions targets

Jet2 commits to new 11-year sustainability plan to meet aviation's emissions targets
The strategy aims to reduce the airline's Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (Image credit: Photofex/Adobe Stock)

The UK-based low-cost leisure airline Jet2 has this week launched a new “climate transition plan” for 2024 to 2035.

Jet2 said the 11-year sustainability strategy details how it is taking “bold, tangible actions” to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – in line with the global aviation industry.

This includes the purchase of up to 146 new Airbus A321 and A320neo aircraft, which the airline claimed are 20 per cent more fuel efficient than older aircraft, and increasing uptake of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the total fuel mix to a minimum of 15 per cent by 2035.

The low-cost carrier also plans to further electrify its ground support equipment (GSE) fleet – which it stated will lead to a 99 per cent reduction in emissions.

The policies aim make significant reductions to the airline’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2, said on Tuesday: “Today we are publishing an updated strategy which is bolder in ambition and outlines an emissions reduction pathway which will bring Jet2’s 2035 carbon intensity in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) guidance.

“Critically, this emissions pathway is realistic and achievable because it is based on technologies and actions that we know are available and can be taken currently, rather than what may or may not be available in the future.

“In addition, we will also be closely monitoring to see where we can invest in and embrace new technologies.”

Through its action plan, the airline expects to see a reduction in its carbon emissions per revenue paying passenger kilometre (gCO2/RPK) by 35 per cent by 2035 compared to its 2019 levels.

Jet2’s strategy also includes the introduction of new technology to provide real-time operational data and analysis that can drive fuel savings, weight reduction initiatives and reduce the energy used from the company’s owned buildings to net zero emissions.

Further, the airline has committed to disclosing all Scope 3 emissions associated with their entire supply chain.

From 2021 to 2023, Jet2 offset every tonne of its carbon emissions not already covered by its contribution to existing schemes – CORSIA and the UK and EU emissions trading schemes.

The updated strategy will see the airline commute these funds to invest in direct mitigations, such as SAF and the installation of split-scimitar winglets onto aircraft, rather than continuing to invest in further renewable energy credits.

Jet2 has also committed to exploring emerging technologies such as direct air carbon capture (DACC) and bio energy carbon capture (BECC) to make future investments in these tools to reduce emissions.

Heapy further called for greater governmental support to be made available for airlines to decarbonise their operations.

He said: “What is now required is more tangible government support, both here in the UK and in Europe, to help aviation decarbonise faster.

“The opportunity is right in front of us, and the UK can become a global leader in SAF, carbon capture and decarbonisation technology with the right support from government, but the time to act has to be now.”

This includes new air traffic management reforms, greater support for airport operators and airports’ electrical infrastructure.