Environmentally Sustainable Air Transport: A Focus on Airline Productivity

  • Thomas Budd
  • Mario Intini
  • Nicola Volta


The air transport sector continues to be characterized by increasing growth, with the demand for air transport services greatly expanding over the last few decades. Despite being a flourishing industry, air transport is highly exposed to external events (e.g., terroristic attacks, financial crisis, natural hazards) which can undermine industry performance. It is clear that in the highly vulnerable and competitive global airline market, productivity is a key factor for success. Economic sustainability, hence productivity, has therefore traditionally been the main goal of the industry in the past. However, increasingly, policy makers are looking beyond traditional measures of airline performance and placing an increasing emphasis on the environmental sustainability of air transport. Indeed, in parallel with the increase of flights and services, the air transport industry is a well-recognized source of greenhouse gases emissions, especially carbon dioxide. In the next 20 years, ICAO forecasts a doubling of CO2 emissions from air transport. A sustainable industry should aim to balance the economic and environmental aspects of the business, seeking to develop mutually beneficial policies and practices that are both economically sound and environmentally and socially responsible.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Budd
    • 1
  • Mario Intini
    • 2
  • Nicola Volta
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Air Transport ManagementCranfield UniversityCranfieldUK
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Management and Business LawUniversity of Bari Aldo MoroBariItaly

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