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Jetstar Says Voluntary Carbon Offsets Big Success

Jetstar says that 10 percent of people using its website have opted-in to its voluntary carbon offset program during its first week of operation, The Australian reports. The airline expected about a five percent response.

Last month, Qantas Group, including Jetstar, began offering an offset program as part of its booking process. Virgin Blue offered the first carbon offset program by an airline certified under the Australian Government’s Greenhouse Friendly program.

“It’s difficult for us to ascertain if it’s industry leading but clearly it’s one of the more successful launches of a carbon offset program,” said Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway. “To have 10 percent of our web bookings, which is our predominant booking channel, is an excellent first step forward.

Not all airlines have had the success Jetstar has seen.

British Airways has faced harsh criticism because of the slow uptake of its voluntary program. “British Airways has encouraged the purchase of only 1,600 tons of offsets on average each year, approximately the emissions from four return flights to New York on a 777,’’ the UK’s House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said in a July report on the voluntary offsetting market. “This is risible.”

In March, MPs accused BA of not being “very adventurous” in marketing the program, claiming passengers did not know where to look for information and check-in staff had “blank expressions” when asked about it.

“I’m not sure that a lot of passengers are as keen to offset emissions as we had hoped,” BA company secretary Alan Buchanan said at the time.

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