A DISCONNECT IN PERSPECTIVES
Aviation emissions don’t start and end with the flight. The passenger travels to the airport; takes a taxi to a hotel; goes out on the town at night. But these factors are also a positive for the broader economy. A flight not taken deprives businesses of income, city budgets of tax revenue, investments of a sound business case. Seen in this context, the truth emerges: airlines are net contributors to the economy, enabling outcomes that outweigh their carbon footprints.
In reality, aviation is a highly taxed industry, not an undertaxed one. In the UK, Airline Passenger Duty alone brings in GBP 3.5bn, OR 0.1% of the national income, with additional revenue from the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Yet little of that revenue is reinvested in making air travel greener. That’s why it’s vital to see SAF in its broader economic context: availability versus offtake, investable projects, reliable incentive timescales, and the bigger question of who should pay – the industry, the customer, or society as a whole?