Loganair will be first airline to add carbon charge to fares from July

Loganair passengers will have a £1 “carbon offset charge” added to fares from July 1 in the airline’s first step towards becoming carbon neutral by 2040.

The Ampaire electric aircraft is sporting tartan winglets for its trials in Orkney. Picture: Ampaire
The Ampaire electric aircraft is sporting tartan winglets for its trials in Orkney. Picture: Ampaire

The announcement came as the Glasgow-based carrier predicted the first of its aircraft would be converted to electric and/or hydrogen power for passenger flights in Orkney within three years.

The UK’s biggest airline operating at non-London airports said it was the first airline to introduce an overt environmental levy, with others hiding it within fares or making it optional.

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Income will be spent on carbon offsetting projects across the world such as reforestation and wind farms.

Ampaire will test electric power using a Cessna 337 in Orkney this summer. Picture: Ampaire
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Loganair said it would also launch a fund later this year to provide grants for renewable energy projects in areas where it flies.

The moves are part of the airline’s new “GreenSkies” initiative to remove the same amount of carbon from the environment as that generated by its flights.

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Trials are due to start this summer in Orkney of electric and hydrogen test aircraft.

Loganair hopes its smallest aircraft will use these novel forms of aircraft propulsion for passenger flights in the islands by 2023 or 2024, to be followed by the airline’s entire fleet being converted to zero emission power by 2040.

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The carrier said they could prove to be the world’s first commercial electric or hydrogen passenger flights, which it hailed as ushering in the biggest change in aviation since the dawn of the jet age in the 1950s.

ZeroAvia will be testing a hydrogen-powered Piper Malibu aircraft, while Ampaire will trial an electric-powered Cessna 337 aircraft.

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A third group, Project Fresson, named after an Orkney aviation pioneer and led by Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, is converting to hydrogen fuel cell power a Britten-Norman Islander aircraft of the same type used by Loganair on Orkney inter-isles routes.

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World’s first hydrogen-powered passenger flights could take off in Orkney
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Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: “We are extremely proud to be the first UK regional airline to set ambitious goals for a carbon-neutral future.

"The entire transport industry has a huge task ahead to address and reduce emissions from every form of travel, and it’s our responsibility as the UK’s largest regional airline to lead the way.

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“The technology required to deliver zero-carbon regional flights is still under development and testing today, and these are programmes in which we’re pleased to be taking an active role.

"Until they’re ready for use more widely though, we’ll be mitigating the carbon emissions from every Loganair flight through the new offset programme and taking all of the steps that we safely and reasonably can to reduce those carbon emissions in the first place.

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“We think it’s right to ask our customers to join us on this journey to carbon neutrality, and the £1 GreenSkies charge within Loganair’s ticket prices means that we can immediately mitigate the impact of the carbon emissions from every flight.”

Net Zero, Energy and Transport Secretary Michael Matheson applauded the moves.

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He added: “Loganair’s involvement in the aircraft trials in Orkney is a great example of how our ownership of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd creates a unique opportunity for Scotland to lead the drive towards zero emission aviation.”

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