The rise of green travel
Aviation consultancy SimpliFlying says that addressing climate change is essential to rebuilding trust in the travel industry. The company has just launched a report that outlines over 30 touchpoints passengers will likely encounter on their “green travel” journeys by 2026.
“Rebuilding trust in travel requires airlines to provide options for green travel throughout the customer journey. We believe significant progress can be achieved towards sustainability goals within the next five years if the entire industry works together. The Rise of Green Travel gives us a glimpse of the potential.” That’s how Shashank Nigam, CEO of aviation consultancy SimpliFlying, introduces a new report, The Rise of Green Travel, which was released to coincide with Transport Day at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) this month. The report (presented via the infographics below) outlines over 30 touchpoints passengers will likely encounter by 2026 during what SimpliFlying terms ‘the age of green travel.’ It notes that although air travel only accounts for 2% of global emissions, that number could rise if air travel continues to grow. Eco-conscious strategies will maintain consumer trust and can even lead to higher profits, says SimpliFlying. The measures range from choosing offset options at the point of booking, including paying for these using airline miles, to flight searching by the amount of CO2 emitted, not just by price or route. Other possibilities include ‘Green Class’ ticketing, which add sustainable aviation fuel to the journey or offset them. Airports will be greener too, with sustainable travel (public transport, electric vehicles) to the airport incentivised., with ground transport also electrified by 2026. Airports will become plastic-free (many are moving in this direction now) while duty free and other retailers will use compostable, bioplastic and paper packaging. Lounges will become places to showcase bio-intelligence, using bio-curtains made of algae to clean the air, for example. In lounges and F&B units, because buffet food produces much waste, chefs will prepare more meals a la carte so only the quantity required is made, not additional food for display.
Machine learning and data analytics will also help airlines avoid carrying unnecessary weight and eliminate waste. Onboard the flight, while items such as bedding or amenities are considered necessary for premium passengers, airlines are thinking sustainably, considering the whole lifecycle of products they use. Amenity kits may be made of recycled materials or vegan leather instead of plastic for example, with skincare products only from companies with strong sustainability credentials Airline uniforms may even be made of recycled plastic and next generation materials such as Pinatex, made from the leaves of the pineapple plant. Crucially inflight meals will incorporate local, seasonal ingredients to minimise the carbon footprint from carrying food long distances, says SimpliFlying. To make sure food doesn’t go to waste after a flight, customers are offered a mystery bag of items to purchase at a reduced price.
A new vision for sustainable aviation from SimpliFlying
There are implications for onboard retail sales too. SimpliFlying says: “There is no such thing as a duty free trolley rolling down the aisle any more. Instead, passengers connect to the inflight WiFi to browse a large array of goods, which they can collect at their destination airport.” Travellers can also book hotels, onward transport and other experiences. For every onboard purchase, passengers will be invited to make a small donation to cover the cost of plating a tree. On arrival, travellers have further sustainable transport options, as well as being encouraged to dispose of items they no longer need at dedicated recycling facilities. Research Director Dirk Singer says: “This issue isn't going away anytime soon for airlines. Indeed, the recent news from COP26 forecasting a temperature rise of 2.4 degrees by the end of the century means the pressure on the industry will become even more acute. “Despite being responsible for ‘only' 2-3% of global emissions, the aviation industry is highly visible and high profile. Many see flying as a luxury that should be heavily taxed or largely cut altogether. “This is why it's important that airlines come together and show visible progress towards becoming more environmentally responsible, and the touchpoints in SimpliFlying’s Rise of Green Travel report shows some of the ways in which that can be done.”
The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 303 | 17 November 2021
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