EasyJet survey: Government is doing too little to make aviation more sustainable

Today easyJet publishes the results of a new consumer survey in which Dutch consumers share their views on making aviation more sustainable. It shows that three quarters of the Dutch (75%) would like to fly without emissions, and almost two thirds (63%) are willing to pay more for this.

Sustainability has captured the attention of Dutch consumers, but the aviation sector still falls short: almost three quarters of respondents (71%) believe that airlines should show faster steps in the development of zero-emission aircraft. easyJet last week presented its own roadmap for net zero emissions by 2050, focusing on new technology. The consumer survey was conducted among approximately 1,000 Dutch people in September 2022 and carried out in collaboration with YouGov.

Still flying in the taste
Although Dutch consumers consider sustainability important, the research also shows that they still intend to continue flying in the coming years. More than half of respondents (52%) have not actively reduced the amount of aircraft, due to concerns about environmental impact. Furthermore, flight shyness appears to be less common than previously thought. More than half of Dutch consumers (52%) feel no guilt when flying, and almost as many (50%) indicate that they plan to go on holiday by air again in the next two years.

The role of government
To make aviation more sustainable, we need the entire sector. The industry cannot alone make the necessary investments for the future. More than half of the Dutch (57%) therefore believe that the government is not doing enough to make aviation more sustainable (e.g. stricter regulations and subsidies). More than a quarter of respondents (26%) even believe that governments and regulators should lead the way when it comes to sustainability.

William Vet (Country Manager easyJet Netherlands): “easyJet itself is paving the way for sustainable aviation with the recently announced roadmap to net zero emissions. But these ambitious plans must also be able to count on state support. That’s why easyJet calls on the Dutch government to take an active role in making aviation more sustainable and using the income from taxes such as the air passenger tax to further make the sector more sustainable. In addition, providing financial incentives for the development of CO2-free technology such as flying on hydrogen. And at European level we will continue to push for a single European sky.”

Regarding the air passenger tax, 26% of respondents believe that the revenue from this should be allocated to sustainable aviation initiatives. In addition, 23% of respondents believe that air passenger tax should be charged according to the length of the flight – the longer the flight (the more emissions), the more you have to pay.

The most important steps for sustainability
Many Dutch people will therefore continue to choose to travel by plane. But making this possible responsibly for future generations requires a significant change. Dutch consumers believe that the following initiatives are effective in making aviation more sustainable:
• 40% of respondents favor sustainable jet fuel (such as bio-petroleum and other forms of non-fossil fuels);
• 37% consider the development of zero-emission aircraft important;
• 26% support optimization of international airspace (better design of airspace so airlines can fly shorter routes);

“easyJet is strongly committed to the above initiatives. The airline is working with several partners, such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce, to develop zero-emission aircraft based on hydrogen technology. The use of sustainable jet fuel also plays an important role in reducing CO2 emissions for easyJet, and the airline has contracted all necessary SAFs for the next five years. In addition, the company has for years been an outspoken champion of the common European sky (Single European Sky), which has the ambition of achieving a CO2 reduction of 10 percent.”

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