BARIG Full Board I/2022: High-level Speakers Giving Insights on the Topic of Sustainability

BARIG Full Board I/2022: High-level Speakers Giving Insights on the Topic of Sustainability

At this year’s first BARIG Full Board, the airline community came virtually together to receive an update concerning recent developments in the aviation industry, including the effects of the pandemic situation, the ongoing recovery of air traffic, and interesting insights on climate protection measures.

Varied guest speakers from renowned companies joined the online event to share their expert points of view. The industry is highly motivated to meet the Fit for 55 challenges and to support sustainable initiatives. The overall aim is to become climate-neutral by 2050.

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Guest speaker Dr. Sabine Cofalla talked about “Alternative Dispute Resolution: Added value for customer satisfaction and retention.” She pointed out that airlines which are open to conciliation in the event of a dispute send a proactive, positive signal to customers and, therefore, strengthen their costumer confidence, satisfaction, and retention. Besides, conciliation via söp procedures allows financial savings in comparison to other ways of arbitration.

Lufthansa Group Keynote “Climate Protection Measures – What Can Airlines Do?”

Annette Mann, SVP Corporate Responsibility of Lufthansa Group, outlined different projects Lufthansa Group is currently working on to support climate protection. Besides waste management and noise regulation, the CO2 reduction by 50% until 2030 is in focus.

 Round Table “Moving Towards Sustainable Aviation”

Solutions and challenges were presented by: Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein (Christine Kranich, Salary Partner), Fraport AG (Thomas Schäfer, Head of Environmental Management), Lufthansa Group (Annette Mann, SVP Corporate Responsibility), and SITA (Michael Urbaner, Senior Account Director).

  • Kranich referred to the Energy Taxation Directive which shall be adapted and implemented by March 01, 2023 as well as the law defining a minimum quota on SAF, which entered into force on October 01, 2021. A fossil fuel reduction by only 2% until 2030 compared to 2019 is considered insufficient. Moreover, it is not fair to only refer to the more expensive PtL, although there are other efficient options of SAF available as well.
  • Schäfer outlined that Fraport AG is trying to reduce its energy consumption for example by refurbishing terminals, changing fleet and ground handling cars to electrical motors, and getting electricity from wind power. The aim is to be CO2-free by 2045. Another important issue in this regard is to encourage passengers and staff to choose climate-friendly ways for coming to the airport.
  • Urbaner mentioned that digitization like for example radar technology and artificial intelligence can help optimize taxiing on the apron as well as energy consumption. Next to artificial intelligence and automated passenger processes, sustainability has now become a key issue. Therefore, it is important to address the problem of CO2 emissions together cross-industrially.
  • Mann highlighted that there are a lot of opportunities for collaboration across different fields within the aviation industry. Airlines can contribute to the optimization by increasingly integrating digitization into their ops and fuel efficiency programs.

Towards the end of the conversations, BARIG Secretary General Michael Hoppe reflected on the subject by stating: “The transformation to net zero aviation is extremely challenging in terms of financing and infrastructure. However, the industry is willing and committed to jointly develop solutions and make climate protection happen sustainably. In order to achieve that goal effectively, governments need to help facilitate the transformation by setting the right legal frameworks and fair competition conditions. The most important thing is to assure a level playing field within the industry as we are acting in a global international industry. Current approaches in Fit for 55 that will be leading to disadvantages for European carriers need to be revised accordingly.”

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