LONDON (Reuters) – British budget airline easyJet on Tuesday said it would become the world’s first major airline to operate net-zero carbon flights across its whole network by offsetting the emissions from flying.
The airline said that it would cost around 25 million pounds ($32.42 million) to offset the emissions in the next financial year through schemes to plant trees or avoid the release of additional carbon dioxide, though Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said that longer-term solutions were also needed.
“We recognise that offsetting is only an interim measure, but we want to take action on our carbon emissions now,” he said.
The announcement came as it reported full-year results for the year ending Sept. 30 in line with previous guidance.
EasyJet said headline profit before tax was 427 million pounds, compared to guidance last month of a figure of between 420 million pounds and 430 million pounds. That was down 26% due to rising fuel prices and a tough operating environment.
The airline said that forward bookings for the first half of the 2020 financial year were “reassuring” and slightly ahead of last year, reiterating that capacity growth would be towards the lower end of historic guidance between 3% and 8%.
The company said that easyJet Holidays would launch in Britain before Christmas, and would breakeven in the year to September 2020.
It added that it expected to fly routes from airport take-off and landing slots at Gatwick and Bristol, acquired in the wake of the collapse of travel firm Thomas Cook, as early as February 2020.
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