Low-cost airline EasyJet is calling for European governments to remove approximately 700 of the "oldest, dirtiest aircraft," by implementing an age maximum effective January 2012, according to the carrier's June inflight magazine. With the youngest major airline fleet in Europe and an average age of 2.2, EasyJet already meets these restrictions.
"Our aircraft are the most environmentally-friendly in the world," says EasyJet chief executive Andy Harrison.
Under the proposed policy, aircraft must be 22 years old or younger. The initiative brings up the much debated argument, can flying ever be green? Keith Taylor, Britain's Green Party Principal Speaker scoffs at EasyJet's environmental claims:
"To say Easyjet are less worse than other airlines is no reason to champion them. All airlines are part of the carbon problem, and by continuing to promote aviation expansion the government is letting the country down and undermining attempts to reduce carbon emissions. 70% of EU flights are under 1000km and with trains capable of traveling at 300kph plus now is the time to expand a fast rail network. Trains are 19 times more carbon efficient than planes."
EasyJet's call for action comes simultaneously with the announcement of its 100th airbus, news which probably won't be celebrated by those lobbying against budget airlines. Recently, budget airline sales have suffered from concerns about the environment.
EasyJet has also recently released a proposal for an "EcoJet" that could slash CO2 emissions by a hefty 50 percent.
On its website, EasyJet has a section dedicated to its environmental policies. The carrier's guiding principal, according to the site, is EasyJet efficiency = low fares = low emissions.
Image courtesy of 2747.com