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Thoughts from our MD: Aviation and environmental footprint

I am the first to admit it: business aviation is not currently environmentally friendly. Neither is commercial air transport, general, or any other kind of aviation today. Aircraft technology is turning greener all the time, but demand is increasing faster. In small aircraft, the carbon footprint of one business jet passenger is a lot bigger than in larger aircraft. An additional (and much less visible) issue is that CO2 emissions comprise only 1/3 of aviation emissions. Even more important are NOx and contrails, and the impact of those on the environment is not fully known yet. It may well be that in the future, it will be more important to avoid flying in certain areas than to save CO2 emissions.

However, using business aircraft when necessary is not unethical or questionable. Charter flights shouldn’t be compared to scheduled flights: charter flights are often used when there are no other options. No operator alone can do much about the environmental hazards of aviation, but the aviation industry operators together can drive the change. I believe that in the near future, renewable kerosene will improve the situation. This, together with technological improvements, will reduce emissions of individual flights, also our flights.

At Jetflite, we aim to reduce our environmental footprint in many ways. We can avoid throwing away catering and improve recycling. We can optimize flight routes, for if the flight is shorter, there are fewer emissions. The less aircraft weighs, the less it consumes kerosene. We can also focus on the materials used during flights. Our electricity and district heating is already 100 % renewable, and we constantly pay attention to how we could improve on other fronts.

The world does not heal in a day, and no one can make it happen alone. Our Environment goals are listed in a separate report as part of our wider Responsibility Program. This way, we aim to ensure that crucial common goals are not lost in the middle of everyday operative issues. I am also looking forward to EBAA’s or other common initiatives, which we could integrate into our programs to help make environmental measures more visible and systematic.

Elina Karjalainen
Managing Director, Jetflite