EasyJet to offset carbon emissions from all its flights

British budget airline easyJet is to become the world’s first major airline to operate net-zero carbon flights across its whole network by offsetting the emissions from flying.

The airline said that it would cost about £25m to offset the emissions in the next financial year through schemes to plant trees or avoid the release of additional carbon dioxide, though its chief executive, Johan Lundgren, said longer-term solutions were also needed.

“We recognise that offsetting is only an interim measure, but we want to take action on our carbon emissions now,” he said.

The announcement came as it reported full-year results for the year ending 30 September in line with previous guidance.

EasyJet said headline profit before tax was £427m, compared with guidance last month of a figure of between £420m and £430m. That was down 26% due to rising fuel prices and a tough operating environment.

The airline said bookings for the first half of the 2020 financial year were slightly ahead of last year, reiterating that capacity growth would be towards the lower end of historic guidance between 3% and 8%.

EasyJet has relaunched its package holiday business as it looks to increase customer numbers following the collapse of major competitor Thomas Cook. It said easyJet Holidays would relaunch in the UK before Christmas, and would break even in the year to September 2020.

Lundgren said EasyJet Holidays would bring “flexibility and excellent value” to the holiday market. “We believe there is a gap in the market for a modern, relevant and flexible business for today’s consumer,” he added.

The group said it expected to fly routes from airport slots at Gatwick and Bristol that it acquired after the collapse of Thomas Cook as early as February 2020.

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