WTTC launches Net Zero Roadmap for Travel & Tourism

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched what it calls ‘an ambitious and groundbreaking’ Net Zero Roadmap, to guide the global travel and tourism sector in its battle against the climate crisis.

The roadmap – developed in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Accenture – provides concrete guidelines and recommendations to help guide the travel industry on its journey towards net zero.

By providing milestones for meaningful climate action and emissions reduction for different industries within the sector, the roadmap sets out the challenges ahead and how the sector can decarbonise and reach net zero by 2050.

This sector is greatly impacted by climate change as it affects destinations around the world, but as with many other sectors, it is also responsible greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) – in this case, an estimated 8-10% of global GHG.

The sector therefore has a key role to play in fighting climate change, which will require heightened ambitions and differentiated decarbonisation approaches, as outlined in the roadmap.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said:

I am delighted to announce our pioneering Net Zero Roadmap for Travel & Tourism. It helps travel industries reach individual targets to reduce our carbon footprint.

The travel and tourism sector is taking this opportunity to be a catalyst for change. We have a responsibility towards our people and planet. It is absolutely critical that the private and public sector work collectively to achieve the Paris Agreement and prevent the global rise in temperatures. Our sector can be part of the change that is urgently required to mitigate impacts and adapt to the threats posed by climate change.

Emily Weiss, Managing Director and Head of Accenture’s Travel Industry Group globally, said:

As the travel industry resets after a tough few years, there is an incredible opportunity to rebuild responsibly and accelerate the shift towards a net-zero future for the sector. The Net Zero Roadmap offers a pragmatic but ambitious course of action that will help the industry create real and visible targets to reduce its carbon impact, providing the transparency that consumers demand. Crucially, it identifies the big levers where travel can turn a corner on emissions and provides the building blocks to create meaningful change.

The detailed roadmap includes key decarbonisation levers and corresponding actions for five key industries of the travel and tourism sector: accommodation, tour operators, aviation, cruise, and tourism intermediaries such as online travel agents and metasearch engines.

Acknowledging that different industries face different challenges to decarbonise, the roadmap calls on businesses to increase their ambitions where possible and provides detailed recommendations for five areas:

  1. Set baselines and emission targets now to achieve individual and sector goals
  2. Monitor and report progress regularly
  3. Collaborate within and across industries and government
  4. Provide finance and investment required for the transition
  5. Raise awareness and build knowledge and capabilities on climate change.

This roadmap calls upon world leaders to give travel and tourism the same level of support offered to other sectors and gives recommendations to governments on how they can support the sector, which before the pandemic represented 10.4% of the global GDP (US$9.2 trillion), in addressing climate challenges and its goals to achieve a net zero future.

The collaborative process included key organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), International Air Transport Association (IATA), Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Travalyst, and SHA (Sustainable Hospitality Alliance), among others.

You can see the report in full, here.

Alaska Airlines eliminates 54 million plastic items per year

Alaska Airlines has taken a big step towards eliminating single-use plastic on board flights.

Alaska’s switch should effectively remove 22 million plastic cups and 32 million plastic bottles per year from Alaska flights

The airline is swapping plastic bottles for cartons and plastic cups for reusable paper cups for water service.

The airline says that inflight water service is the most significant contributor of onboard plastic waste and the switch to more sustainable solutions will remove 22 million plastic cups and 32 million plastic bottles per year from Alaska flights.

Alaska became the first airline to offer guests Boxed Water cartons inflight in early 2021 – introducing the renewable packaged water alternative in First Class and on Alaska’s Horizon Air-operated flights. The trial was a success with guests and employees – twice as many passengers favoured Boxed Water compared to plastic bottled water in the airline’s polling.

Todd Traynor-Corey, managing director of guest products for Alaska Airlines said

Only 9% of plastic is recycled nationwide the rest ends up in landfills, burned or in our environment. Although we have an industry-leading recycling program, the reality is that we need to move to renewable options. Getting to this point hasn’t been easy. We investigated several options with our supply chain – and this year we finally found a product our guests love and a partner whose mission-driven values mirror our own.

Alaska Airlines believes that plastic-free water service is one of many new, planet-friendly initiatives passengers will notice on Alaska flights. And the airline claims it has eliminated hundreds of single-use waste items and pioneered fresh food for pre-order using industry-leading technology ‘to ensure that guests can get exactly what they want’.

Transatlantic take-off, synchronised

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic made history today, when their first flights of the day took part in a fully-synchronised joint take-off from London’s Heathrow Airport.

British Airways Flight BA001 – a flight number previously reserved for Concorde – left Heathrow at 08:30 this morning, 8 November, in a first-ever synchronised take-off with Virgin Atlantic flight VS3.

The spectacular double take-off were the airlines’ first flights to the United States since the restrictions on UK and EU passengers were first imposed in March 2020.

British Airways flight BA001 and Virgin Atlantic VS3 performed a synchronised joint take-off from London’s Heathrow Airport this morning

The first British Airways flight to the United States since the lifting on that country’s restrictions used sustainable aviation fuel.

The British Airways A350 flight was directly powered by a 35% blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) provided by bp and made from used cooking oil. The airline claims it is believed to be the first commercial transatlantic flight ever to be operated with such a significant level of the fuel blended with traditional jet fuel.

In September, British Airways announced a collaboration with bp to source sustainable aviation fuel in
respect of all flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during the UK COP26 conference.
British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group recently committed to operating 10% of
its flights using SAF by 2030.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive thanked the UK government and the Biden administration for their work to remove the barriers to transatlantic travel

The lifting of US restrictions after more than 600 days means that fully vaccinated Britons are now able to travel freely between the two countries – something that has not happened since 16 March 2020.

The changes have enabled British Airways to re-start direct services to 17 US destinations. The airline is set to extend its services to 23 US airports this winter, with up to 246 flights a week. Flights to New York will increase from five to eight per day in December. There will also be double-daily services to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, Miami and Toronto, as well as daily services to Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Houston and Vancouver.

UK Ambassador to the United States, Dame Karen Pierce DCMG, said:

Today is an incredibly exciting and meaningful day for the UK-US relationship. We can all once again travel to each other’s countries to visit families, take holidays, and conduct transatlantic business. I am absolutely thrilled that safe and sustainable travel can fully resume between the UK and the United States.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive said:

Today is a time for celebration, not rivalry.  Together with British Airways we are delighted to mark today’s important milestone, which finally allows consumers and businesses to book travel with confidence.  The US has been our heartland for more than 37 years and we are simply not Virgin without the Atlantic.  We’ve been steadily ramping up flying to destinations including Boston, New York, Orlando, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and we can’t wait to fly our customers safely to their favourite US cities to reconnect with loved ones and colleagues.

As the UK forges its recovery from the pandemic, the reopening of the transatlantic corridor and the lifting of Presidential Order 212F acknowledges the great progress both nations have made in rolling out successful vaccine programmes. The UK will now be able to strengthen ties with our most important economic partner, the US, through boosting trade and tourism. We are thankful to Prime Minister Johnson and the UK Government, the Biden administration and our industry partners for their support in removing these barriers and allowing free travel between our countries to resume.

Secretary of State, Grant Shapps said

Thanks to the work of industry and the US-UK Experts Working Group, these vitally important flight routes will help boost the economy, protect and create British jobs and through the work of the Jet Zero Council help to build back greener.

British Airways’ Club Suite rollout

British Airways is extending the roll out of its newest business class seat, Club Suite, as it continues to retrofit the seat across its Boeing 777 fleet, with the deployment expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The airline already has retrofitted a number of its Boeing 777 aircraft with the latest seat and will be working with Collins Aerospace to ensure the rest of the airline’s 777 aircraft are fitted with the new cabin.

The sophisticated Club Suite was initially fitted out in July 2019 on the first A350 and since then has been installed on the Boeing 787-10 aircraft.

The seat offers

  • direct-aisle access
  • a suite door for greater privacy
  • luxurious flat-bed seats
  • a 1-2-1 configuration
  • 40% more storage
  • a vanity unit and mirror
  • WiFi
  • 18.5-inch inflight entertainment screens
  • high definition, gate-to-gate programming
  • PC/USB power

As part of the airline’s commitment to the North Atlantic, all British Airways flights to New York JFK will be operated by aircraft that have the airline’s Club Suite product.

Sajida Ismail, Head of Inflight Product at British Airways, said:

When we launched our Club Suite product, it was a huge hit with our customers who loved the privacy the new seat offers. We are focused on the roll out of this product and other cabin enhancements to ensure we deliver on our commitment to provide the very best British quality, style and comfort for our customers.

Trevor Skelly, General Manager Integration Engineering for Collins Aerospace, said:

The upgraded Club World cabin raises British Airways’ already high standards and provides commonality across their fleet of aircraft. Our Integration Engineering team has worked closely with British Airways designers for several years to bring the latest in business class comfort, style and privacy from concept to reality.

As part of the upgrade, the airline’s Club Kitchen is also getting a makeover with new Club chillers and built-in storage for snacks, drinks and other refreshments, allowing customers in Club World to help themselves to refreshments at their leisure.

British Airways is continuing with the roll out of its newest business class seat, Club Suite, as it continues to retrofit the seat across its Boeing 777 fleet, with the roll out expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
Collins Aerospace is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defence industry. Manufacturing of the new suite seat is being completed at the company’s facility in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland.

The latest generation of the First cabin including the introduction of the First suite door will also continue to be rolled out across the airline’s B777-300 aircraft. The First suites were meticulously designed based on British Airways customers’ feedback, the cabin puts comfort at the heart of the experience and makes the very best use of the generous space designed for just a few customers at a time.  The First suite includes a fixed 23-inch high definition inflight entertainment screen that can be controlled with an integrated handset.

Gatwick harnesses AI to improve passenger flow

London’s Gatwick Airport is to utilise artificial intelligence to make journeys through the airport quicker and easier.

Gatwick has selected Veovo’s Passenger Predictability solution to optimise security operations and improve passenger flow. The partnership will allow the airport to handle increasing passenger numbers and build ‘a more sustainable, passenger-centred travel experience’.

Veovo’s AI-powered technology gives Gatwick real-time awareness of people’s movement and experiences in the North and South terminal security areas. This insight guides the airport to plan layout and lane openings, predict bottlenecks and make informed decisions on the go.

This flexibility allows the airport to integrate and protect its existing stereo vision camera investments with new IoT sensors and data sources, thereby enhancing its understanding of customer behaviour across the airport.

Bronwen Jones, Development Director, Gatwick Airport, said,

Veovo’s cloud solution will help to make our business more resilient by allowing us to accurately measure passenger flow so that we can respond quickly and efficiently to any changes. The new technology will not only lead to smoother journeys for our passengers by increasing automation and optimising our processes, but it is also future-proofed, scalable and, by being cloud-hosted off-site, supports our commitment to sustainability by reducing our energy footprint.

Veovo claim their cloud software platform bundles analytics and ‘rich visualisations’ to ‘deliver historical, live and predicted insights into passenger density and flow by flight’. It provides metrics such as actual and forecasted waiting times, occupancy, and passenger throughput. This allows airports and their partners to prevent congestion, minimise wait times and comply with service-level agreements.

James Williamson, Veovo CEO, said,

We are delighted that the airport has chosen Veovo technology to help make the security checkpoint experience as efficient and smooth as possible. Harnessing all available data, together with behavioural science, will enable the airport to learn from the past, predict the future, and make more informed decisions. We are confident that it will present a unique opportunity for the airport to optimise processes and improve people flow.

London Gatwick joins a host of other major airports, including Manchester, Newark and Amsterdam Schiphol, that have adopted the queue and flow management solution. It enables the airports accurately to plan operations, provide situational awareness and make intelligent decisions in real-time to balance performance, customer experience and efficiency.

Boeing to Debut 777X at 2021 Dubai Airshow

Boeing will showcase its portfolio of commercial, defence and services products at the 2021 Dubai Airshow this month, including the international debut of its newest fuel-efficient widebody jet, the Boeing 777X.

During the event, a Boeing 777-9 flight-test aeroplane will fly in the airshow’s flying program and appear in the static display. Building on the best of the 777 and 787 families, the 777-9 will be the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet, delivering 10% better fuel use, emissions and operating costs than its competition, Boeing claims.

The Boeing 777X will be unveiled at the Dubai Air Show

The company’s static display will also feature the 2021 Boeing ecoDemonstrator, an Alaska Airlines 737-9 that is flight testing around 20 technologies to reduce fuel use, emissions and noise and further improve safety.

In addition, Etihad Airways will display a 787-10 Dreamliner that showcases the airline’s collaboration with Boeing to advance sustainable aviation.

Etihad’s programme researches and tests innovative technologies, products and practices on its fleet of 787s and within its operations to reduce carbon emissions further.

Also on display, flydubai – the region’s largest 737 operator – will feature a 737 MAX 9 that reduces fuel use and CO2 by 14% compared to its predecessors.

Kuljit Ghata-Aura, president of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa said,

Boeing is excited to participate fully in the Dubai Airshow, the first global airshow in almost two years, and to be able to engage directly with customers, partners, suppliers and other stakeholders from the region and beyond. The show is a perfect opportunity to come together and remind the world of the importance of our industry and discuss technology and innovations that are critical to advance a more sustainable aerospace industry over the long term.


Visitors to Boeing Exhibit #1200 can experience a 360-degree theatre and learn more about the company’s capabilities through the lifecycle of several products.

Travel industry leaders explain how they plan to meet their carbon targets

This month, world leaders are gathering in Glasgow to determine policies and commitments to reduce global warming, reverse climate change and ameliorate the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Leading the way in these efforts are some of the world’s leading airlines and travel suppliers, including Global Travel Management.  

We asked a number of airlines and travel companies to tell us how they intend to meet their emission targets.  And we asked them to do so in a very brief video clip.  Below, you can see each of the responses.  

First was British Airways who intend to meet their self-imposed target of net zero emissions by 2050 thanks to fuel efficient aircraft, carbon offsetting and sustainable aviation fuel. 

Lufthansa Group aims to cut its CO2 emissions by 50% by the end of this decade as a step to becoming net zero by 2050.  Kevin Young explains how passengers can select the way their preferred method of delivering these targets. 

United Airlines aims to become carbon neutral by 2050 by using sustainable aviation fuel, carbon sequestration and the use of new aeroplanes, including electric aircraft.  

Emirates intends to drive down CO2 emissions by the use of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, as well as the use of more efficient logistical and operational techniques, such as the use of ground-supplied power where possible. 

Air Canada highlights aircraft and engine efficiency as the most important factor in driving down greenhouse gas emissions.

And it’s not just airlines that are driving down carbon emissions in the travel sector.  Travel data supplier Travelogix is on track to becoming net zero as soon as 2025, including the exclusive use of green, renewable energy across global data centres.  

Global Travel Management’s Carbon Offset Programme enables businesses to offset the carbon cost of their business travel by sponsoring reforestation efforts.
You can find out more about the GTM Carbon Offset Programme, above.


Dubai International Airport launches Duty Free ordering

Dubai International has made food ordering and duty-free shopping even easier, with the launch of DXB&More. 

Passengers at the world’s busiest international airport can make the most of their time before catching a flight by getting comfortable and reaching for their mobile and having the best of the airport retail and restaurant offering delivered directly.

DXB&more is a mobile food, beverage and retail ordering service that provides a smooth, convenient alternative to shopping, dining in or waiting for an order to go, without the need to download an app.

The creation of DXB&more was in direct response to the evolving needs of the busy traveller, providing a convenient alternative to shopping and dining before a flight.

Eugene Barry, EVP Commercial at Dubai Airports said 

At Dubai Airports, we are focused on improving our guests’ experience across all physical and digital touchpoints through DXB. Clearly, the events of the past 18 months have accelerated key consumer trends and raised customer expectations around choice and convenience.

Our objective is to create and test new ways of communicating with travellers before, during and after their journey with us, and raise awareness of the full range of shopping, dining, and hospitality experiences across our airport by integrating all of these channels on a single platform, while speaking directly to the consumer. It is also a way of supporting our important commercial partners and optimising opportunities jointly, by broadening the very definition of commercial boundaries and reshaping our partnerships. 

Passengers can order food from the airport’s eateries as well as perfumes, beauty products and electronics and more from Duty Free

The airport claims to have ambitions for the growth of DXB&more which will see the platform “develop into an all-encompassing digital DXB experience, bringing together digital entertainment partners, more shopping and live experiences to guests already in the airport and those who are due to travel”.

Austrian Airways expands its Premium Economy product

From Spring 2022, more passengers will be able to fly in Austrian Airways’ Premium Economy class.  

Premium Economy is being rolled out across the airline’s entire Boeing 767 fleet.  

Sales Director Michael Trestl said 

As an Austrian airline, we have ‘Premium’ in our hearts. With the expansion of the Premium Economy Class, we want to offer even more passengers greater travel comfort on long-haul routes. This travel class appeals to all those who want a bit more comfort and service on long-haul trips and still want to travel in a price-conscious manner. This means that the travel experience can be individually designed for each passenger and the feel-good factor on board is increasingly optimised. 

The travel class introduced in 2018 will be expanded to include the domestic airline’s Boeing 767 fleet from its current 18 seats to 30 seats per aircraft.  The conversion of the Austrian fleet will be carried out in the first quarter of 2022. 

With the summer flight schedule 2022, the three B767 planes, which primarily serve destinations in North America, will fly in the new cabin configuration. 

With the summer flight schedule 2022, the three B767 planes, which primarily serve destinations in North America, will fly in the new cabin configuration. 

The heart of Premium Economy class is a seat specially made for the Lufthansa Group, which offers passengers more legroom and comfort on their journey compared to Economy Class. In addition, passengers in this travel class can check in two pieces of luggage, each weighing up to 23 kilograms, free of charge and enjoy a culinary pampering program with a three- to four-course menu on board.

Discounted fares on flights within Europe and to the rest of the world

Corporate customers of some of Europe’s leading airlines can earn discounts on air fares booked between until the end of this year. 

The Lufthansa Group has launched discounted fares valid for corporate customers who are signed up to the PartnerPlusBenefit Programme. 

Every corporate customer signed up to the PartnerPlusBeneft Programme receives a 3% discount on air fares within Europe; or a 3%-5% discount on air fares when travelling to Asia Pacific, Africa, Middle East, North America or South America. 

You can sign up to PartnerPlusBenefit here and, if you join today, you will receive up to 1,500 BenefitPoints when you register.

The discounts are automatically applied by Global Travel Management for any corporate signed up to the PartnerPlusBenefits Programme and include fares booked directly with the Global Travel Management online booking tool.  

Economy LIGHT and Business SAVER fares are excluded from this offer.  The discount is valid on Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS flights for travel until 31 December 2021.