BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The heads of some of Europe’s largest airlines hit back on Wednesday against efforts to discourage Europeans from flying, arguing the industry was making huge strides in cutting its carbon footprint and that there was no shame in air travel.
The share prices of Europe’s largest airlines fell this week when France announced a tax on air travel, the latest move by an EU government to discourage flying, which activists say is a major contributor to climate change.
Criticism - Ride - Environment - Frankly - Ryanair
“We are sensitive to the criticism that we are getting a free ride on the environment because frankly it is not true,” Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary told a press conference in Brussels.
“We have a very good case to push back against these NGOs like the flight shame movement because actually this is an industry that is performing remarkably well and meeting its obligations towards a greener, cleaner planet,” he said.
O'Leary - Chairman - Lobby - Group - A4E
O’Leary was speaking as chairman of lobby group A4E (Airlines for Europe), which includes the continent’s largest airline groups, Lufthansa and British Airways owner IAG .
The group argues that aviation has roughly halved the carbon footprint per flight over the past three decades and is spending billions of euros in more fuel efficient aircraft and investing in less damaging aviation fuel technologies.
O'Leary - Airline - Euros - Taxes - Fuel
O’Leary said his airline paid over 500 million euros of environmental taxes on a fuel bill...
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