JetBlue’s first Airbus A321neo recently began operating regularly scheduled flights. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

JetBlue to Become First Carbon-Neutral U.S. Airline

New York-based JetBlue Airways has said that it will become the first, large U.S. airline to offset its emissions from all domestic flights in a move to become completely carbon neutral.

“This is part of a long-term commitment we and the industry have to have to reflect the climate reality we are in,” said JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes in an interview with Bloomberg.

Airlines have faced criticism from climate change advocates over the past few years due to their large amount of emissions, eight million metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions a year in JetBlue’s case.

However, Hayes has clarified that JetBlue’s initiative is not a response to the growing criticism that has been directed at JetBlue and other airlines.

“Aviation has a central and important role to play, and has to make sure it’s preparing for the new climate we are operating in,” added Hayes.

The cost of the emissions cutbacks have not been released but the carrier says it will not increase airfare. JetBlue has also said that it will also use sustainable aviation fuel on its flights originating in San Francisco.

In order to reduce emissions, the carrier is looking at reducing and offsetting emissions by replacing ground service equipment previously powered by fuel with electric-powered equipment.

To earn credit for offsetting emissions, the carrier is looking at investing in projects that protect forests, developing solar and wind farms, converting landfill production into renewable energy.

The carrier has been working with environmental and sustainability consultants to develop the new initiatives.

European low-cost carrier EasyJet announced that it would be the first carrier to offset emissions as it saw in a decrease in German and Swedish flights due to campaigns aimed at abandoning air travel.

While JetBlue is currently focused on offsetting carbon emissions from domestic flights, the carrier is also looking at reducing emissions from international flights.

Akhil Dewan
Akhil Dewan
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