The airline’s chief executive has rejected accusations that his company is a major emitter of greenhouse gases, saying livestock have become more polluted as demand for high-quality transport increases.
Patrick Hansen, CEO of Luxembourg-based Luxaviation, told the FT’s Business of Luxury summit in Monaco that one of his company’s clients produces about 2.1 tons of CO₂ a year, or about the amount of three cats – before the spokesperson corrected that he meant three dogs.
The industry is aware of the need to reduce carbon emissions but what needs to be done “is clearly visible,” Hansen said at a press conference Tuesday. He added that private jets “are not going away, because they provide temporary assistance” to the wealthy.
Hansen said that later he refers to the data written in the book of Mike Berners-Lee, a British academic, called “How Bad are Bananas”. It says that a cat kept as a pet is responsible for 310kg of carbon emissions per year, and a dog about 700kg.
Berners-Lee said in an email that he was “surprised and disappointed to hear that my book is being used to defend Luxaviation’s false claims.” He raised doubts about the 2.1 tons that Hansen provided, saying it seemed “suspiciously low” and “must be for very short flights with very small aircraft.”
“The simple truth is that the emissions from a conventional jet are many times higher than a conventional jet. It is also unreasonable to say that climate damage can be offset by so-called ‘offsetting’,” he added. “High-tech private jets are very carbon intensive.”
The private jet industry has benefited from growing demand since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, as the super-rich tried to avoid congestion and restrictions. Although all travel restrictions have been lifted, this trend is likely to continue as low-cost travelers seek out travel experiences, according to industry experts. Global demand for private jets is up more than 14 percent since before the pandemic, according to the industry data.
Hansen said the “entry of new customers into the airline market” last year compensated for the loss of customers from regions affected by air travel restrictions linked to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, climate change activists and policy makers have called for action to penalize private travel to slow global warming. Last month, Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport sought to ban private jets from flying in and out of the Dutch capital after its runway was bombed by climate activists. On Tuesday, activists at the Geneva airport disrupted the European trade fair for private jets.
According to 2022 Oxfam report The carbon footprint of private jets is 10 times greater than that of commercial airlines. This means that one in 100 people worldwide is responsible for half of the aviation industry’s emissions, according to the charity. This was it with the help of a lesson and Transport & Environment, an EU NGO, reported that private jets emit 5 to 14 times more greenhouse gases per person than commercial airlines.
Hansen said the industry “doesn’t want to embarrass our children” and is taking steps to stop and reduce emissions.
Some industry experts have suggested that sustainable fuels, such as vegetable oils and synthetic oils, can replace carbon-based ones. Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun ruled out biofuels in conversationsaying they “will never meet the cost of jet fuel”.
Hansen said the availability of biofuels is so limited worldwide that the airline industry cannot rely on less polluting options.
“In fact, when we flew people to COP26 in Edinburgh, we made sure the jets were filled with sustainable fuel,” he said.
According to Hansen, hydrogen and electric aircraft engines will become a more sustainable option than combustion engines in the long run. However, recently, Luxaviation, advises customers not to fly on private jets for very short distances.
“Sometimes it’s better not to fly.” We tell our customers, don’t fly from Paris to Lyon. “
On Tuesday, in an effort to reduce emissions, France suspended train travel on other train routes, including routes from Paris to Nantes, Bordeaux and Lyon.