Ryanair advertisements claiming the carrier is “Europe’s lowest emissions airline” have been ruled misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority.
The TV, radio and press campaign said Ryanair was “the airline with Europe’s lowest emissions”, claiming: “This is because we have the youngest fleet of aircraft and the highest load factors and newest, most fuel-efficient engines.”
The ads said the low emissions claim was based on the top 27 European airlines.
Complainants included an energy, transport and sustainable development consultant who argued that by their nature, “airlines did not have low emissions”. They said Ryanair’s claims were misleading and could not be substantiated.
Ryanair said the ad clearly explained the basis of comparison and said factors leading to its superior performance included a young fleet of aircraft, point-to-point routes, fewer empty seats and higher seat density. Ryanair said the claim “low CO2 emissions” in ads meant “less than average”.
The ASA upheld the complaint, saying: “We were concerned that the basis of the claims had not been made clear in the ads and that the evidence provided was insufficient to demonstrate that Ryanair was the lowest carbon-emitting airline on the basis of that metric. Consequently, we concluded that the claims “Europe’s…Lowest Emissions Airline” and “low CO2 emissions” were misleading.”
The ASA said it had told Ryanair “to ensure that when making environmental claims, they held adequate evidence to substantiate them and to ensure that the basis of those claims were made clear”.