Loganair has today announced its 'GreenSkies' environmental programme as it commits to being fully carbon neutral by 2040, becoming the first UK regional airline to take such an ambitious step towards managing and mitigating the environmental impact of flying.
Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles.
The GreenSkies initiative encompasses an immediate programme of carbon offsets to remove the same amount of carbon from the environment as that generated from each and every Loganair flight. At the same time, the airline is tackling the long-term goal of introducing sustainable aircraft into its fleet – with live trials taking place in the Orkney Islands this summer on developmental aircraft powered by hydrogen and renewable electricity as the first step to fully converting Loganair’s fleet to net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
The new carbon offset programme will be launched from 1 July, and becomes the first of its kind in the UK to directly relate the cost of flying to its environmental impact. A £1 Carbon Offset charge will be included in the ticket price for every customer’s flight from Summer 2021. By harnessing the collective power of everyone flying with Loganair, carbon neutral flying can be achieved through the offset programme at a practical and modest cost per passenger.
Funds raised through the GreenSkies charge will be invested in projects across the world to remove the same amount of carbon from the atmosphere as is generated by Loganair flights. These include initiatives such as reforestation projects and wind farms that will replace carbon-heavy coal and gas-fired power stations.
Later this year, Loganair will also establish a new fund to provide grants to help with the cost of establishing renewable energy projects in the communities that it serves.
Loganair is the only UK regional airline invited to participate in the UK Government’s “Jet Zero Council” initiative – launched by the Prime Minister last summer – to de-carbonise air travel. Its involvement recognises a significant programme which has now been ongoing for almost three years to enhance the airline’s environmental performance and work on projects to de-carbonise flying.
It is an active partner in three future flight projects to design, test and certificate new technology for use in the regional airline sector. These are Project Fresson, led by Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, to convert the Britten-Norman Islander aircraft used on the Orkney inter-isles air services to hydrogen fuel-cell power; the ZeroAvia hydrogen powered aircraft development; and the Ampaire electrical powered aircraft programme.
Flight trials of the ZeroAvia and Ampaire programmes are scheduled for this summer in the Orkney Islands – operating the same routes as Loganair’s inter-isles air services and using the new technology in a live environment to test and certificate these for regular use in commercial passenger operations within three to four years.
The trials will provide Loganair’s flight operational and engineering teams with a unique and industry-leading perspective on the developments needed to support these new technologies in day-to-day airline operations, including the ground infrastructure and servicing needed to support future aircraft.
Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: “We are extremely proud to be the first UK regional airline to set ambitious goals for a carbon-neutral future. The entire transport industry has a huge task ahead to address and reduce emissions from every form of travel, and it’s our responsibility as the UK’s largest regional airline to lead the way.
“The technology required to deliver zero-carbon regional flights is still under development and testing today, and these are programmes in which we’re pleased to be taking an active role. Until they’re ready for use more widely though, we’ll be mitigating the carbon emissions from every Loganair flight through the new offset programme and taking all of the steps that we safely and reasonably can to reduce those carbon emissions in the first place.
“We think it’s right to ask our customers to join us on this journey to carbon neutrality, and the £1 GreenSkies charge within Loganair’s ticket prices means that we can immediately mitigate the impact of the carbon emissions from every flight. We want our customers to understand just how committed we are to highlighting the need to recognise the impact of each journey - and how a small change for all of us can quickly make a big difference overall.”
Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson MSP, said: “I warmly welcome the launch of Loganair’s GreenSkies programme and their commitment to becoming a fully carbon neutral airline.”
“The Scottish Government looks forward to working with Loganair to deliver on our commitment of decarbonising scheduled flights within Scotland by 2040.”
“Loganair’s involvement in the aircraft trials, taking place at the Sustainable Aviation Test Environment in Orkney, is also a great example of how our ownership of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd creates a unique opportunity for Scotland to lead the drive towards zero emission aviation.”