Europe’s business jet sector is putting its greenest foot forward at its flagship annual conference this week as it faces a downturn in flights on the back of commercial aviation’s rebound and growing pressure to become more sustainable.
The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), hosted in Geneva, kicks off on Tuesday and brings together everyone from brokers, planemakers to engine producers.
Many have come under harsh scrutiny in Europe for their role in an industry seen as producing outsized emissions for global elites.
CO2 emissions from private jets in Europe grew by 31% between 2005 and 2019, according to environmental group, Transport and Environment.
Pressure on the industry is increasing both from European regulators, who are keen to advance their green agenda, and also from activists who have targeted the sector in protests at airports, sector specialists said.
Protesters are expected to gather on Tuesday outside the conference location in Geneva to highlight the rising number of private jet flights amidst a worsening global climate crisis.
Consumers are also trying to limit their impact.
The conference will look to strike a positive note by showcasing innovations in the sector, with a particular focus on areas like electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) and sustainable aviation fuel, which emits much less carbon than traditional jet fuel.