8 April 2016 - Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged Sweden’s policy makers to back efforts by international governments and the global air transport industry to achieve carbon-neutral aviation growth.
In 2009 the aviation industry agreed targets for its carbon emissions, including carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and a cut in CO2 of 50% by 2050. Achievement of these targets is on course, but to deliver carbon-neutral growth the world’s governments at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) need to agree to implement a global market-based measure (MBM).
“Sustainable air transport growth is a big prize for Sweden. IATA data reveals air passenger growth in Sweden is set to grow by 2% per year over the next two decades. Passenger numbers will reach 43 million in 2034, as demand to fly in an increasingly globalized world is met by wider and more affordable air links. This will be a boost to the economic and social development of the nation,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s European Regional Vice President.
Air transport is at present responsible for supporting 83,000 jobs and SEK 53 billion in GDP. The Swedish economy thrives on trade links which can only be boosted by increasing air connectivity. The government is currently considering an air passenger tax, ostensibly to help combat aviation’s climate impacts. Evidence from elsewhere in Europe is that such taxes damage air transport connectivity, employment growth, and trade, whilst having a negligible impact on the environment. Meanwhile ICAO meets in September to agree a global MBM. The preferred option is a carbon-offsetting scheme which will ensure emissions from aviation growth is balanced by verified emissions reductions in other sectors.
“Sweden has an enviable historic strength in aviation, but it is important that this success story is not damaged by policy errors. Sweden’s air connectivity will be restricted if passengers are hit by inefficient and ineffective passenger taxes. The industry understands the importance of an effective response to the effects of man-made climate change. The correct answer is a globally-harmonized measure that ensures emissions are cut, while maintaining aviation’s ability to service the world’s desire to travel and trade. We urge the Swedish government to pause its own plans for an ineffective passenger tax and instead support the efforts of the international community to agree a globally sustainable solution for air transport,” said Schvartzman.
Speaking at an aviation policy forum at the IATA offices in Stockholm, Mr. Schvartzman also welcomed a new IATA member from Sweden, Nextjet.
“We are delighted to welcome Nextjet as IATA’s newest European member. Nextjet’s aim is to bring this vast and beautiful country even closer together by connecting it affordably and sustainably from North to South. We are delighted that Nextjet has seen the value they can gain from being a member of the IATA family,” he said.
With 14 aircraft and 330 employees, Nextjet serves 18 destinations in Scandinavia, including links from the international airport in Stockholm. IATA’s membership comprises over 260 airlines representing 83% of global air traffic. Safety is the top priority for the industry and all IATA member airlines must pass the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). Statistics show that IOSA makes an already safe industry safer still: the total accident rate over the last five-years IOSA airlines is three times better than non-IOSA airlines. IOSA is not restricted to IATA members and many non-members also choose to submit themselves to the audit.
Magnus Ivarsson, CEO of Nextjet AB, said:
“Back in 2013 Nextjet saw the great importance of an IOSA certification. It is therefore very satisfying to now become a full IATA member and support IATA’s important work for the industry, as well as benefit from the extensive range of services and experience that IATA holds.”