August 7, 2020

“Above 1,500 kilometers, there is no alternative to the plane”

The president of the airline says that the planes are now 80% more efficient than in the 80s

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who has become a champion of the fight against climate change, has crossed the Atlantic Ocean by catamaran to attend the summit on this issue that is being held these days in Madrid. His trip, which has taken him several days, has served him to denounce, in his opinion, serious damages that commercial aviation causes to the environment. But it does not seem operational for the movement of large masses, where for large distances, the only alternative right now is the plane. It is what he believes at least the president of Iberia, Luis Gallego, which, in addition, does not consider aviation to be one of the main responsible for climate change.

Within the framework of the CEOE Cepyme Business Meetings held this Wednesday in Madrid, and asked about the criticisms of environmental movements to air transport, Gallego has assured that "The reality is that over 1,500 kilometers there is no alternative to the plane." Gallego has insisted on the commitment to the sustainability of Iberia and explained that air traffic generates only 2.5% of global CO2 emissions. "Airplanes today are 80% more efficient and sustainable than in the 80s", he said, adding that the commitment is to reach zero net emissions by 2050. To do this, companies are investing a lot of money in more efficient fleets, with more ecological fuels and applying numerous recycling measures. At this point, he has advocated the single European sky that would improve aviation efficiency, "shortening routes up to 10% with consequent fuel savings and improved efficiency."

Gallego has also addressed during its intervention the acquisition by the company of Air Europa. The president of the Spanish airline considers that the integration of Air Europa in the IAG group will have positive effects both on employment in Spain, as on tourism and on ticket prices, and ensures that the union of both airlines was essential in a very competitive international air market where Spain "needs to consolidate to be able to compete at European and global levels." "The market is very competitive so either you are in an international group, or you have many ballots to stay on the road", explained Gallego, justifying that of the 154 airlines created from 2000 to 2016 a total of 107 have already disappeared . Therefore, in his opinion, the best way to protect employment is to have large and strong companies. In the air sector, concentration is essential, “being in an international group, having synergies of costs and revenues to be able to make more offers to customers and be able to compete,” said Gallego.


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