Although the intensity of the Flight Shaming movement in Europe may not surface to the same level in other areas of the world, there’s no doubt that aviation’s impact on the environment remains an intense topic of discussion.
“…environmental stewardship is the existential threat to our future ability to grow”, Delta CEO Ed Bastian recently declared at the airline’s annual investor day. “…you see it happening in Europe…it’s increasingly coming here to the US”.
Noting that aviation is seen in the world’s eyes as somewhat of a “dirty industry”, Mr Bastian believes Delta has “done a tremendous amount of good” with the reinvestment it has completed in its business and the capital it has invested in new engine and aircraft technologies.
Mr Bastian highlighted that Delta has not increased its carbon footprint since 2012, “but we’ve got to do more…we need to start talking about what we're doing more of in investing in renewables and how do we engage customers globally, 200 million customers a year in helping us because we're all in this together”.
Delta’s CEO believes that the airlines are not going to solve climate change, “everyone’s got a role to play”, he concluded. “We haven't reached out and embrace that. So I think you are going to see us become more of an active voice in the conversation in the coming year.”