April 17, 2024

Ban business class to tackle emissions, says airline boss

The head of low-cost carrier Wizz Air, József Váradi, suggested it would be more effective to get rid of business class than to impose 'green taxes' on flights as the airline industry tackles its contribution to carbon emissions.

Speaking at World Travel Market this week, Váradi hit out at the French and Dutch governments for their plans to introduce environmental taxes, claiming it would only help preserve underperforming national airlines such as Air France/KLM.

“They are the worst airlines in Europe in terms of emissions, operating very old fleets with four engines and business class,” he said.

“A business class passenger emits three times more carbon than an economy class passenger, so the first thing you should do about the environment is to eliminate business class.”

Váradi also pointed out that the efficiency of the low-cost airline model is also more environmentally friendly.

“We have the youngest fleet, the highest seat density, and a 95% load factor,” he said. “What’s good for business is also better for the environment.”

The airline, which is the largest operator at London Luton Airport, carried 34.6 million passengers across its network last year and added 125 new routes.