• Amid the talk of emissions trading, aviation continues its growth

    Amid efforts to reduce aviation’s impact on the environment, the aviation industry has announced record increases in global flights.

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]The aviation analysts OAG say the May total for global flights was 2.51 million, the first time the 2.5m barrier has been broken. The largest rises compared with May 2006 came from domestic flights in India and China, with rises of 25% and 18%. Domestic flights in Great Britain rose by almost as many in number, but only by 2% of the British total.

    The figures will fuel concern that any action to reduce the environmental impact of aircraft and flights will be more than offset by the growth in air travel. Anticipating such concern, the American aircraft maker Boeing told journalists in Brussels last month that the new 787 plane that will be in operation in 2009 will cut CO2 emissions by 20% compared with the 767 it replaces.

    In other developments:

    • The director-general of the International Air Transport Association has challenged the commercial aerospace industry to develop a “zero-emissions passenger aircraft” within the next 50 years. Giovanni Bisignani said climate change was a real concern for airline customers and governments.

    • The British low-fares airline FlyBe says it is now producing an eco-label for its aircraft, modelled on labels used to show the environmental performance of fridges, washing machines and other domestic aids. FlyBe says it wants the rest of the industry to follow its example.

    • A consumer survey of British companies has voted British Airways as the worst brand, followed by three other airlines (Americal Airlines, Ryanair, Easyjet) and a maker of large cars (Range Rover). A spokesman for the survey said it showed that global warming has “registered in people’s consciousness.

    This news story is taken from the June 2007 edition of T&E Bulletin.