EasyJet hopes to fly hybrid aircraft by 2035 and fully electric models by 2050.
The airline, working in partnership with Airbus, has laid out an indicative timetable for operating a fully electric fleet.
“These are aims – some are progressive and some are conservative, but no one doubts this will happen,” said easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren.
EasyJet on Tuesday (19 November) pledged to offset fuel emissions from all its flights with immediate effect at a cost of approximately £25 million over the next year.
However, it is predicted the cost of this net-zero carbon pledge will increase significantly in the future, possibly by as much as 10 times.
“We believe the expectation is that companies should take on the responsibility themselves and we are doing this with our own cost,” Lundgren added.
“I think it sets us apart and if it works, as an interim measure, in combination with all the other things that are in play, it’s a big step.
“It will make customers feel comfortable buying with ourselves knowing we are doing what we can with the environment.”
Lundgren stressed that £25 million was a wholesale price, and that an individual customer would pay more to produce the same offsetting.
When questioned on whether these measures went far enough, Lundgren said: “We are not claiming here that we have the perfect end game solution. But it’s a choice – are we going to do something or not to reduce our footprint?”
EasyJet says it will only support initiatives that meet Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard accreditation.
These include EcoAct projects furthering forest conservation efforts in South America and Africa, development of renewable energy in India, and safe water solutions in Uganda.
EasyJet is also working with Climate Focus and First Climate to explore carbon offsetting initiatives, and Lundgren urged other airlines to follow the carrier’s example.