The initiative, which was introduced this week, will cost easyJet around £25million per year – an expense that will not be passed on to customers through higher fares, an airline representative told The Business Travel Magazine.
EasyJet airline will also continue investing in research into hybrid-electric aircraft in partnership with Airbus.
“Carbon offsetting is only an interim measure while new technologies are developed,” said the airline in a statement. “The aim will be for easyJet to reduce the amount of carbon offsetting undertaken as new technologies emerge.”
Its investment in offsetting will include Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard projects such as forestry, renewable energy and community-based schemes.
“Climate change is an issue for all of us,” says Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s CEO. “At easyJet we are tackling this challenge head on by choosing to offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of our flights starting today.
“In doing so we are committing to operating net-zero carbon flights across our network – a world first by any major airline.”
Lundgren continues: “We acknowledge that offsetting is only an interim measure until other technologies become available to radically reduce the carbon emissions of flying, but we want to take action on carbon now.
“However, our priority is to continue to work on reducing our carbon footprint in the short term, coupled with long-term work to support the development of new technology, including electric planes which aspire to radically reduce the carbon footprint of aviation.”
Speaking at this week’s GBTA Conference in Munich, the airline’s Group Markets Director, Thomas Haagensen, said the airline could have an aircraft with hybrid engines by 2035 and fully electric aircraft by 2050.