Airlines should do more in praising industry-wide sustainability programmes, says Qantas CEO.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has said the air transport industry is taking its environmental responsibility seriously but airlines should promote their efforts more.

Speaking on the topic of sustainability at IATA’s AGM recently, Joyce said that on the financial side, the extremities of the boom-bust cycle had finally been eliminated. He pointed out that “no matter what industry, you have good performers and bad performers,” but overall well-run airlines were focused on providing a return for investors.

Environmentally, the industry has a good story to tell. He highlighted his own airline’s efforts, explaining that some 10% of Qantas passengers offset carbon emissions and the airline has a number of other initiatives too. It’s Perth-London service, for example, took 11% of weight out of the flight, saving fuel and the resultant emissions.

Airlines must become as good at getting their environmental message out as they are at selling their products

And there was a “no waste” flight between Sydney and Adelaide that created plenty of positive coverage.

But, said Joyce, such positive coverage was too rare and he called on the industry to improve its environmental messaging. 

Joyce suggested that trust is the starting point. Qantas, for example, is one of the most trusted brands in Australia. And airlines must become as good at getting their environmental message out as they are at selling their products.

“And it’s a good message,” concluded Joyce. “Because we have done things no other industry has done.” 

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