Sustainable Aviation Initiatives May Lead to Higher Fares, Warns WestJet CEO

WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech
WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech

At the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary, Alexis von Hoensbroech, the Chief Executive Officer of WestJet Group, expressed the airline's commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, with a focus on the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). However, he also brought to light a significant concern: the global ambition to decarbonize the aviation sector could result in a notable uptick in ticket prices unless there's substantial governmental support.

"Air travel is essential to Canadians and critical to the nation's economy; with the right regulatory environment and collaborative efforts of producers and airlines, Canada has an enormous opportunity to further its global leadership in energy sustainability through SAF production," stated von Hoensbroech.

WestJet spends more than CAD $1 billion annually on jet fuel. While the airline is channelling resources into acquiring newer, more efficient aircraft to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, von Hoensbroech stressed the need for extra industry support to expedite the uptake of SAF, a green fuel derived from renewable sources.

"The time is now for a regulatory framework to create a competitive investment climate for sustainable aviation fuel production, right here in Canada, that keeps air travel affordable and accessible.

"Access to SAF continues to be constrained by high costs, which can be as much as three to five times that of jet fuel. To date, not a single drop of SAF has been produced in Canada. We believe the best path forward to making SAF the low carbon fuel standard, is collaboration between airlines, producers and policy makers," von Hoensbroech emphasized.

WestJet believes that creating a competitive landscape for SAF investment is the linchpin to ensuring a greener future for Canadian aviation. By being at the forefront of such initiatives, the company hopes to drive Canada's leadership in global energy sustainability.

However, the CEO warned, "With SAF's high costs, its adoption is financially challenging."

Von Hoensbroech's call underscores the aviation industry's broader challenge in balancing environmental commitments with economic sustainability. Collaboration between all stakeholders—airlines, governments, and fuel producers—is deemed essential to address the financial challenges of SAF adoption, ensuring a sustainable future for the sector.

You may also like
Air Canada Resumes Service to Israel
Air Canada has resumed flights between Canada and Israel after a six-month hiatus due to the Middle East conflict. Service from ...
NCL Cancels a Dozen 2025 Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled more than a dozen cruises on seven ships for 2025, those impacted will receive full fare ...
Flair Airlines.
Flair Announces Fall/Winter Schedule, Adds Toronto to Guadalajara
ULCC Flair Airlines unveiled its fall and winter 2024 schedule, introducing a new Toronto (YYZ) to Guadalajara (GDL) three-times-weekly nonstop route, ...
ACTA Unveils Quarterly Leadership Panels: 26APR to Spotlight Cruise Segment
ACTA will host a virtual leadership panel focused on the cruise industry on 26APR at 1 pm EST as part of ...
Universal Hollywood Studios
Universal Hollywood Studio Tour Celebrates 60th: 26APR - 11AUG
Universal Studios Hollywood celebrates the Studio Tour’s 60th milestone anniversary with a dedicated experiential program from 26APR  through 11AUG 2024.  In ...

Talk Back! Post a comment: