Starting in 2025, individuals booking flights online within the European Union will have access to consistent details about the « carbon footprint » and « carbon efficiency » of flights. This information, explained comprehensively, will be provided through the Environmental Labelling Scheme. Spearheaded by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), this initiative seeks to furnish passengers with reliable and standardized environmental information regarding their flights.
EASA to inform air passengers on the environmental impact of their flight
The Environmental Labelling Scheme fosters an equitable competitive framework for airlines by acknowledging sustainability endeavors. This will introduce transparency and, consequently, enhance competitiveness within the market.
“The labelling scheme will allow passengers to make sustainable choices when booking their flights, based on trusted information coming from an expert, but neutral, agency,” said Maria Rueda, Director of Strategy and Safety Management at EASA. “It will make progress towards decarbonisation of aviation visible and allow passengers to be part of the solution – by ensuring they can be actively aware of the impact of their travel choices.”
EASA will employ actual historical data provided by airlines to compute the carbon footprint and carbon efficiency, projecting these metrics for future flights. The utilization of authentic operational data ensures a higher degree of precision and reliability in the calculations.
Participation in the Environmental Labelling Scheme is voluntary for airlines. Those choosing to opt in must submit comprehensive flight data for all relevant flights to EASA, without the option to selectively provide data for specific routes. Additionally, participating airlines are obligated to display the results in their booking systems, ensuring that this information is communicated to passengers. EASA is introducing an early adopters’ plan to guide interested airlines through the initial assessment phase.
The preparatory phase for the Implementing Regulation on the Environmental Labelling Scheme is scheduled for 2024. The Agency initiated the first workshop on January 22 and 23 to advocate for the initiative and garner support from aviation and travel stakeholders. Co-organized with the European Commission – DG Move, the workshop saw the participation of approximately 70 representatives from airlines, airline associations, and online travel agents, following an open call for registrations. A subsequent session is slated for April 9, 2024, in Brussels.
The ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation, signed into law on October 18, 2023, primarily seeks to encourage the adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) in the aviation sector and assigns additional responsibilities to EASA.
Embedded within the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation, the Environmental Labelling Scheme is a complementary component with the goal of furnishing consumers with precise, standardized, and transparent information regarding the environmental performance of flights.