British Airways Set To Join Air France With Domestic Flight Carbon Offsetting

British Airways is set to begin mandatory carbon offsetting of its domestic flights. The news follows a similar move by the French flag carrier, Air France, last week.

British Airways, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Offsetting
British Airways is to begin automatically offsetting carbon emissions from domestic flights. Photo: British Airways

The aviation industry is responsible for around 2.5% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. While this is less than the 10% share which the fashion industry contributes (according to United Nations Climate Change), its impact is much more visible on a day to day basis. As such, domestic flights are coming under increasing scrutiny as people argue that a train could do the trick just as well. Consequently, British Airways has decided to offset around 400,000 tonnes of CO2 a year on domestic flights.

75 domestic flights per day

British Airways currently operates around 75 domestic flights per day. These flights shuttle passengers between London and Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Isle of Man, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast City, Inverness and Jersey. This, the airline says, accounts for around 400,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

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British Airways will automatically carbon offset every domestic flight booking from January 2020. For a flight from London to Manchester, around 0.02 tonnes of CO2 will be offset per passenger, while this would increase to 0.04 from London to Edinburgh.

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British Airways, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Offsetting
Carbon offsetting is just one part of British Airways’ quest to become carbon neutral by 2025. Photo: British Airways

Voluntary global offsetting scheme

In addition to announcing that it would automatically offset carbon emissions from domestic flights, British Airways has also partnered with Pure Leapfrog in order to realize its carbon offsetting commitment. The airline has set up a tool at pureleapfrog.org to allow passengers to offset carbon emissions for international flights.

The coolest part is that the tool allows you to calculate the emissions between any two airports. This means that you could theoretically offset a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Brussels for £1. As mentioned, this transaction currently has to be completed through the Pure Leapfrog website. However, a British Airways representative told Simple Flying that the airline has plans to integrate the scheme into its booking process.

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British Airways, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Offsetting
British Airways now offers every passenger the opportunity to carbon offset their flights. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

IAG carbon neutral by 2050

The news that British Airways would automatically offset carbon emissions was accompanied by an announcement from IAG. British Airways’ owner became the first airline group to have committed to achieving net carbon neutral operations by 2050.

Earlier this year Simple Flying reported that the International Airlines Group had committed to investing $400 million in developing sustainable jet fuels from household waste. However, IAG isn’t the only airline group taking action regarding its carbon emissions.

Joining Air France

Just last week Simple Flying reported that Air France would begin carbon offsetting every domestic flight booking from 2020.

British Airways, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Offsetting
Air France is to carbon offset every mainland domestic flight from January 2020. Photo: Air France

From the 1st of January 2020, the new policy will come into effect. According to Air France, this change will affect over 450 flights per day representing over 57,000 customers. However, this will only apply to flights within mainland France.

Do you think all flight bookings should have carbon offsetting included? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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John Conlin-Jones

What happens to all the money taken on carbon tax on air travel I would love to know , I fly back from Thailand every year to see my relatives and have travelled to NZ and Australia with my Thai wife. My last trip to the UK half of the 26,000 baht ticket was carbon tax and the plane had over 500 people on board , I strongly believe that it just goes on other government expenditure as usual , why don’t they use it on solar panels for properties free of charge and make builders of all new properties… Read more »

TX talker

Greta’s point is that we all have to do all that we can do to reduce Co2 emissions or there is no point.