Skip to main content

IATA’s head Alexandre de Juniac said they'll be launching a 'very big campaign' to explain what the industry is doing to reducing its environmental impact.

PIERRE ALBOUY/Reuters

The aviation industry is to launch a campaign it hopes will counter a ‘flight shaming’ movement that has weakened demand for air travel in Europe where some travellers are increasingly concerned about their environmental impact.

The industry’s image has been damaged this year by a growing Swedish-born movement led by activists such as teenager Greta Thunberg calling for greater action against climate change, including ditching air travel.

Global lobby International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents nearly 300 airlines, is co-ordinating the campaign which will involve industry stakeholders.

Story continues below advertisement

“We will launch a very, very big campaign ... to explain what we have done, what we are doing, and what we intend to do in the future,” IATA’s head Alexandre de Juniac told Reuters in an interview in Kuwait on Tuesday.

The campaign will try to explain to the public how the industry is reducing its environmental impact, countering what de Juniac said had been “misleading information.”

IATA is co-ordinating the plan through the Air Transport Action Group, a coalition of industry organizations and companies.

De Juniac did not say when the campaign would launch but said it would be available to stakeholders across the industry including airports and airlines.

Flight shaming has dented demand in Europe, particularly in northern parts but also in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

“It’s difficult to measure and beyond European borders we have seen nothing but it will come,” de Juniac said.

Commercial flying accounts for about 2.5% of global carbon emissions today but without concrete steps to alleviate the problem, that number could rise as global air travel increases.

Story continues below advertisement

The aviation industry has already cut carbon emissions from each plane traveller in half since 1990, largely thanks to more fuel-efficient aircraft, and has a plan to cut net emissions by 2050 and achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020.

Airlines have warned of the negative impact of the flight shaming movement and some have criticized the industry for so far failing to explain itself.

Emirates President Tim Clark said in October the industry had to do a better job addressing the issue, highlighting improvements in technology that have reduced the carbon footprint of aircraft.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies