The aviation sector, represented by the Airline Associationwants to have a voice, and even a vote, in the challenge that decarbonization of your activity. From the general assembly held this morning by the group, the proposal to create a committee for aviation sustainability, whose objective will be to seek a sustainable recovery of the sector after the coronavirus crisis.
This forum, which would have an advisory nature, is inspired by the Jet Zero Council británico, which includes two secretaries of state and whose first meeting was chaired by the prime minister Boris Johnson. ALA has opened the committee to representatives of the different ministries involved, as well as to entities related to air transport (Aena, Aesa, Enaire, Air Force, energy companies, etc.). It is about participating in the roadmap that leads to the goal of carbon neutral emissions in 2050. Beyond the current crisis, airlines are aware that their future is at stake. They want to stop being seen as part of the problem to become the solution.
This public-private initiative returns to cruising speed to the work of the sector by reducing its contribution, of approximately 2.5%, to greenhouse gas emissions. It is about debating solutions and opening spaces for R&D and investment instead of suffering prohibitions and tax charges that, in the opinion of the airlines, would have an adverse effect on mobility, their investments and the economy.
During the debate space that preceded the assembly, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Moran, spoke of the urgent need to replace fuel with alternative fuels and reached out to public-private initiatives. Aena’s Director of Innovation, Amparo Brea, He anticipated that the airport manager will discount in the future in its rates the use of so-called SAF (biofuels) and other low-CO2 technologies.
The problem, according to industry representatives such as the president of Iberia, Javier Sánchez-Prieto, or that of CEO of Volotea, Carlos Munoz, is the scarce availability of new fuels and their price. “When there are hydrogen planes we will buy them, just as we expect alternative fuels at reasonable prices, but while air activity should not be attacked, without alternatives on long routes,” claimed Sánchez-Prieto, who stressed that aviation has been capable of cut its emissions in half in three decades.
This opinion was seconded by the vice president of Iata, Rafael Schvartzman, while urging the launch of the single European sky: “There is technology for this.”
The general director of Aena listened among the attendees, Javier Marin; the CEO of Air Europa, Valentine Lake; the founder and president of Air Nostrum, Carlos Bertomeu; the chief executive of Iberia Express, Carlos Gomez, or those responsible for Binter and Iberojet, Rodolfo Núñez and Antonio Mota, respectively. Also Javier Gándará, Easyjet’s managing director for southern Europe and president of ALA, re-elected this morning for two more years.
Recovery in sight
The airline sector expects to see the recovery of a level of activity comparable to that of 2019 on the return of two to three yearss. The Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdes, affirms that “this summer will no longer be the same as 2020, although it remains to be seen how the British market will open up. We have equipped ourselves with tools to generate certainty for the traveler and guarantees that there will be no steps backwards ”.
Valdés hopes that Spain can count on the British tourist, but “it could depend more on their epidemiological situation than on ours.” The United Kingdom will review its classification of destinations, based on sanitary conditions, on the 28th. Beyond the urgency of this summer, Valdés has stated, Spain must work to attract the long-haul traveler, what passes for looking towards Asia.
For the Executive Director of the World Tourism Organization, Manuel Butler, this country will continue to be a reference after the pandemic. Its position is optimistic regarding the reactivation of the destination and the contribution of the digital green certificate to allow, as of July 1, mobility in a first phase within Europe.
During his speech at one of the tables, the CEO of Volotea, Carlos Munoz, referred to the need for mobility policies to be harmonized in the EU space, as has been done in the United States, and for airport managers to help recovery with tariff containment measures. Already at the closing of the assembly, the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Pedro SauraHe assured that it is not the intention of the Government to impose new charges on airlines.
A message that, in the opinion of some of the managers present, opens the door to reductions in Aena’s starting position on the rates for the regulated five-year period 2022-2026. The proposal is for a 0.52% increase in the Maximum Annual Revenue per Passenger (IMAP) between 2022 and 2025, to go up to 3.29% in 2026. The Council of Ministers will have the last word next month of September.