Skip to Main Content

Aviation Framework

Aviation is crucial to our goal of making the travel industry more sustainable. We are working together to:

  • Introduce and streamline emissions reporting
  • Create industry-wide awareness and alignment around decarbonisation
  • Empower travellers to make more sustainable choices

The challenge

Aviation, responsible for 2.9% of global CO2 emissions, is one of the most challenging sectors in which to reduce carbon emissions. In addition, other emissions such as condensation trails, or contrails, are thought to account for around half of aviation’s contribution to global warming.

Reducing emissions is a significant challenge for a number of reasons, including the long life cycles of aircraft fleets, slow-to-adapt policy environments, and the high cost and low supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). And unlike road transport, where there have been significant advancements in technology, much of the industry’s net zero targets rely on technology – such as direct air carbon capture, electric and hydrogen aircraft – that is still in development stage.

We need to act now. Without rapid systematic change, there is a serious risk that decarbonisation targets will be missed; aviation, and tourism as a whole, could become unviable industries.

The solution

It’s complicated. Achieving decarbonisation in the aviation sector requires everything from increased investment and government/corporate policy change, to rapid technological innovation and consumer action.

That final piece of the puzzle – consumer action – has huge, untapped potential.

Consumer power

We know from recent research that consumers want more sustainable travel options. According to Trip.com’s 2022 sustainable travel report, 78.7% of respondents agree that sustainable travel is vital, while 74.9% are likely to book sustainable travel in the future.

Another report by Booking.com also highlighted that 40% of respondents actively look for sustainability information when booking transportation for their trips, while over half (51%) deemed lower-to-no CO2 emissions through their transportation choice a key part of what constitutes sustainable travel.

But consumers often feel powerless, thinking their choice is either to feel guilty or to not fly at all. According to research by Skyscanner, almost a quarter (23%) of respondents said they don’t know how to travel more sustainably, with one in five (21%) citing a lack of easily accessible information as a barrier.

Indeed, efforts to calculate and collate emissions information for consumers have been staggered and confused, making it hard for travellers to make informed decisions.

Travalyst’s role

We bring together travel brands in a non-competitive environment to leverage and share collective insights. The end game is to provide consumers with clear, consistent and easy-to-understand information, empowering them to choose flights with lower emissions.

This, in turn, fuels a change in mass consumer behaviour.

Working together

Our Aviation Working Group collaborates to provide consumers with the same emissions data when they search for flights, no matter what platform they are using.

Members of the group are contributing data, resources and expertise in the joint interest of aligning fully behind a single model for flight emissions reporting. The working group is led by Google and Skyscanner, who are now showing consumers the same information across both platforms.

This model is continuously being developed and improved to be more accurate. Currently, factors taken into account in the model are:

  • Origin and destination
  • Aircraft types
  • Cabin class and seat configuration
  • Load factor (estimate)

Over time, we will work towards expanding this model beyond CO2 emissions, reaching a scientific consensus that allows our partners to calculate the wider warming effects of flights.

You can find out more about the methodology and general principles of the model for emissions reporting here.

Please get in touch if you’d like to join the coalition or adopt our aviation framework. All our data is free and available via a number of different access methods dependent upon your technology requirements.

What consumers see

When consumers search for a flight, they see the following across both Google and Skyscanner:

Google Flights

Skyscanner

The role of our Independent Advisory Group

We work with a group of academics and sector experts, who provide neutral guidance and oversight of the models to ensure that our work is robust, credible and maintains focus on the goal of bringing this information to consumers, at scale.

In the longer term

This is an important first step, but there is much more we need to do. In the long term, our aviation work will:

  • Increase the number of partners displaying emissions information on their platforms
  • Expand our existing reporting to include sustainable practices across all ESG categories
  • Provide airline partners with tools and information to accelerate their sustainability efforts
  • Increase our data accuracy
  • Broaden our emissions data framework to cover transport as a whole, including trains and car rentals
  • Be available across the entire industry and serve as a benchmark for sustainable aviation