JetBlue has committed to offsetting CO2 from jet fuel for all domestic flights commencing July 2020. The US carrier also announced plans to start flying with sustainable aviation fuel in mid-2020 on flights from San Francisco International Airport.
“Air travel connects people and cultures, and supports a global economy, yet we must act to limit this critical industry’s contributions to climate change,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “We reduce where we can and offset where we can’t. By offsetting all of our domestic flying, we’re preparing our business for the lower-carbon economy that aviation – and all sectors – must plan for.”
JetBlue initially offset emissions via programs to balance customer flying during specific times of year. The new announcement aims to expand those efforts to reduce emissions associated with fuel use in a bigger way.
As part of its announcement JetBlue said it will continue to partner with Carbonfund.org—a U.S. based nonprofit carbon reduction and climate solutions organization. Via this partnership JetBlue has already offset more than 2.6 billion pounds of CO2 emissions since 2008. JetBlue’s new carbon offsetting partners now include EcoAct and South Pole.
The new initiative is expected to offset an additional 15-17 billion pounds (7 to 8 million metric tons) of emissions per year – the annual equivalent of removing more than 1.5 million passenger vehicles from the road, JetBlue says.
“The airline industry is one of the few industries that has collectively committed to an international emissions reduction goal,” said Hayes. “Air travel brings so much good to the world and JetBlue has always been about making our essential industry better. Carbon offsetting is a bridge to, not a silver bullet for, a lower carbon future. Reducing and mitigating our greenhouse gas emissions is a fundamental aspect of our business plan and our mission to inspire humanity.”
JetBlue has also agreed to purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and a pioneer in renewable jet fuel, starting this year. Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel™ is produced 100 percent from waste and residue raw materials, with up to 80 percent smaller carbon footprint compared to fossil jet fuel.
Additional efforts JetBlue has undertaken to enhance climate efficiencies enclude:
- Operating more Fuel Efficient Aircraft: The airline’s incoming 85 new Airbus A321neo (new engine option) aircraft will help reduce carbon emissions. In addition, the acquisition of 70 Airbus A220s to replace older aircraft should reduce emissions per seat by about 40 percent.
- Air Traffic Control (ATC) Modernization: JetBlue is also advocating for a more efficient ATC system. According to the carrier, current ATC inefficiencies account for as much as 12 percent of fuel burn and resulting emissions.