Delta Air Lines Chief Has Some Unfortunate News for Flyers

Delta Airlines chief executive Ed Bastian says the climate change battle is about to hit customers where they'll feel it most: their wallets. While the efforts behind the potential rise in price are reasonable and meaningful, customers are guaranteed to hate the cost put on them by the airlines.

"Over time, it's going to cost us all more, but it's the right approach that we must take," Bastian told BBC News. Air travel is responsible for 2.5% of carbon emissions at the center of the global warming affecting the planet.

Delta has pledged to be carbon neutral, achieving the status in March 2020 while also promising $1 billion to cancel out all emissions it creates across the next decade. With that comes an increase in ticket prices, though.

"In the short-term, government support will be needed with those costs as decarbonising aviation will be extremely challenging, and current efforts will need to be scaled up dramatically," Andreas Schafer of University College London says about what drastic changes people can expect. They also add that the efforts will end up costing airlines trillions instead of billions to reach net zero, with airfare prices increasing at least 10-20 percent.

"It's the biggest long-term challenge this industry faces," Bastian told the outlet. "We're in an industry that's classified as hard to decarbonise because we don't have the bio-fuels or the sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) en masse yet that we're going to need."

To compound issues, the demand for jet fuel around the globe is set to double by 2050 and the inevitable entrance of the government with assistance looms overhead to help ease prices. There is also the rise in the number of flights, with the average set to reach 10 billion by 2050 according to the International Air Transport Association.

Bastian sees business travel as a road back after the pandemic, pushing for a return to levels back when life was "normal." "All forms of travel are on the way back. Families are the part of the traveling public that we're most happy to see, because there's been some really difficult stories over time of families not being able to connect for long [periods]," Bastian said. "There's a real unity and sense of purpose that we have when people get back together in person."


Would you pay extra on top of what you're already paying to travel? Will the world become inaccessible to many as we continue to march onward?