LOGANAIR is to be the first airline in the UK to introduce a mandatory £1 carbon offset charge for every passenger, starting next month.

The move is part of a major programme by the Glasgow-based airline called GreenSkies which also includes the potential for zero carbon flights on its smaller aircraft in around three years.

New technologies are also expected to be available across the larger fleet in several years, and well in advance of its overall net zero carbon target of 2040.

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The new carbon offset policy will be launched from July 1, and becomes the first of its kind in the UK to directly relate the cost of flying to its environmental impact.

The £1 carbon offset charge will be included in the ticket price for every customer’s flight, and the airline said that “by harnessing the collective power of everyone flying with Loganair, carbon neutral flying can be achieved through the offset programme at a practical and modest cost per passenger”.

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Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair chief executive, said the move allows everyone who flies to shoulder a small amount of the environmental responsibility of air travel and said that so far some voluntary schemes developed have had low pick-up numbers.

The airline is also involved in hydrogen and electric flight trials this summer in Orkney, where it has run the Inter-Isles service since it began in 1967.

“As we are looking forward and looking to the future hopefully with the pandemic slowly but surely starting to recede into the rear view mirror, it is right for us to be taking a pretty bold step to address what is a major concern and a major source of feedback from our customers,” said Mr Hinkles.

The Herald: The airline has set a 2040 net zero target. The airline has set a 2040 net zero target. (Image: PR)

“If you are going to make a big difference the only way to do it is to all do it together, hence the Loganair programme which involves every single one of our customers, and we are doing it on the basis that it is mandatory, it is not opt-in, it’s not an opt-out.

“We’ve got be serious as both an airline from our perspective but as a community of travellers, people flying around using air services, that we’ve got to take steps to address the impact that we have on the environment.

“I’ve got to hope that as well this isn’t just about the airline industry, pretty much every form of public transport provider whether it be rail, road, or ferries, we’ve all got a job to do around reducing our impact on the environment so for us as the UK’s largest regional airline to take the lead in doing that is something I’m pleased and encouraged about.

“I think it is the right step forward to do that. It is the right step for our customers. I hope it will be the first of many such announcements that we’ll see from transport providers over the coming weeks and months.”

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He also said: “I believe we are the first airline to actually mandate this and show it separately so that the customer can clearly see what the environmental cost of their journey is and in that context using the terminology it is small change can make a big difference I think with the level of the charge.

“We could only manage the charge at that sort of level if every customer is in it together.

“For us the carbon offsetting is the first step in a plan to reaching the net zero targets by 2040.”

The airline is also an active partner in three future flight projects to design, test and certificate new technology for use in the regional airline sector, including Project Fresson, led by Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, to convert the Britten-Norman Islander aircraft used on the Orkney inter-isles air services to hydrogen fuel-cell power, the ZeroAvia hydrogen-powered aircraft development, and the Ampaire electrical powered aircraft programme.

Mr Hinkles said: “The technology to actually fly without carbon emissions is under development. In 28 years from my point of view in this Industry I’ve never seen such a rate of progress from a technological point of view as we are seeing now with the development of the electrical and hydrogen-powered technologies.”