Green jet fuel will drive up airfares, Rolls-Royce boss warns

Green jet fuel destinations will drive up airfare costs: Rolls-Royce boss Warren East in stark warning to travelers

Green fuel on planes will make air travel and shopping more expensive, the Rolls-Royce chief executive has warned.

Speaking to the Mail at the Farnborough Airshow, Warren East, the engine manufacturer’s boss, said the switch to so-called ‘sustainable aviation fuel’ (SAF) ‘will ultimately cost more’.

That seemed to put him at odds with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who insisted the government’s “Jet Zero” plans to usher in an era of “guilt-free flying” shouldn’t mean higher fares.

Government policy, unveiled yesterday by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, requires at least 10% of kerosene to be from sustainable sources by 2030

“We’re going to see cost increases in transportation,” East said. “It’s just an adjustment, you don’t get anything for free.

Of course, we still want to be able to move goods around the world by air, but without devastating the planet.”

Rising prices would hit households already grappling with increases in the cost of living.

But the pressure on ministers and aviation chiefs is growing to make flying more environmentally friendly.

According to government policy, unveiled by Shapps in Farnborough yesterday, at least 10 per cent of jet fuel must be produced from sustainable sources by 2030.

UK domestic aviation and airports must then achieve net-zero carbon by 2040.

Shapps insisted it wouldn’t drive up prices, saying “I’m not someone who thinks we’re going to solve these problems by limiting demand or raising prices for people.”

But East said, “Consumers boarding and disembarking planes or ordering packages to be shipped around the world are having to pay more.”

Airlines are already using SAF — made from sources like waste oil, fats and non-food plants — mixed with conventional fossil fuels to power flights, but it currently accounts for less than 1 percent of total aviation consumption.

Rolls-Royce boss rejects wage demands

Cost warning: Rolls-Royce boss Warren East

Cost warning: Rolls-Royce boss Warren East

The Rolls-Royce boss said the cost-of-living crisis was having a “horrible” impact but resisted union calls for wage increases.

Warren East, who received £3.95million last year, suggested big wage increases could put jobs at risk in the longer term.

Last month, the Unite union rejected an offer of a retrospective 4% pay rise for 11,000 workers in the workshop and a £2,000 cash allowance.

It lags behind inflation, which is over 9 percent.

Speaking at the Farnborough Airshow, East, 60, said: “Of course we understand the cost of living, it’s excruciatingly steep climbs.”

But he insisted the deal had to be practical – and he had to choose between agreeing on a big wage deal that workers would enjoy over a couple of years or convincing the unions to strike a deal that would means that they “have a future”.

It is said to reduce emissions by up to 80 percent compared to fossil fuels. Under current regulations, SAF can only be used for up to half of an aircraft’s fuel blend.

Derby-based Rolls-Royce has tested engines at 100 per cent. The use of SAF is intended to build a bridge to a hydrogen-powered future – a technology that Rolls-Royce is also working on.

That’s because hydrogen propulsion will require entirely different infrastructure for planes and airports, and will take five decades to phase out.

East, who attended his last Farnborough before stepping down as chief executive, said the focus on sustainability meant the airshow was a “different universe” than in the past.

“The entire sector is prepared for this,” East said, adding the government must act as a “bridge between consumers and industry.”

East believes this can be achieved by increasing SAF production, for example by diverting air tax revenues into plant investments or reskilling oil and gas workers in the North Sea.

He said the higher cost to consumers of sustainable fuel would “undoubtedly” hurt demand for flights, although aviation was “fundamentally” driven by the need to keep the economy running.

Shapps said emissions from aviation should never return to pre-pandemic levels, when they fell sharply when flights grounded.

He said: “From now on, CO2 emissions should go down – and green flights up steadily.


Green jet fuel will drive up airfares, Rolls-Royce boss warns

Source link Green jet fuel will drive up airfares, Rolls-Royce boss warns

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