HomeSustainabilityMichael O'Leary: Ryanair On Track to Meet 2030 Sustainability Targets

Michael O’Leary: Ryanair On Track to Meet 2030 Sustainability Targets

Ryanair group chief executive Michael O’Leary has stressed that the airline is “on track” to meet its 2030 sustainability targets, of having 12.5% of all of its flights fuelled by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

“Our new aircraft and increasing use of SAF has positioned Ryanair as one of the EU’s most environmentally efficient major airlines,” Mr O’Leary said earlier this week when presenting Ryanair’s record annual results for the 12 months to the end of March. 

“CDP recently awarded Ryanair an ‘A-’ climate rating [previously ‘B’], topping off a year of ESG upgrades including our industry leading MSCI ‘A’ rating [up from ‘BBB’], and retention of our Sustainalytics ranking as Europe’s number one airline for ESG.”

“In FY24 we took delivery of 48x B737-8200 “Gamechangers” – 4% more seats, 16% less fuel and CO2 – and we retro-fitted winglets on over 25% of our B737NG fleet [with a target of 409 by 2026), reducing fuel burn by 1.5% and noise by 6%. 

“Last year we expanded our SAF partnerships – including our first UK delivery from Shell – and we remain on track to achieve our ambitious 2030 goal of powering 12.5% of Ryanair flights with SAF, with 10% supply already secured. In April, we extended our partnership with Trinity College Dublin’s Sustainable Aviation Research Centre to 2030.  TCD’s valuable research facility supports the acceleration of SAF deployment across Europe.

Mr O’Leary also reiterated Ryanair’s call on European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to do more to protect flights from being disrupted by air traffic control (ATC) strikes in mainland Europe, adding that doing so would also have environmental benefits.

“In 2023 Europe suffered 67 days of ATC strikes, causing thousands of (avoidable) flight cancellations to/from Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK while France (in particular) uses minimum service laws to overprotect French local/domestic flights. As we head into S.24, we again call on the EU Commission to deliver urgent reform of Europe’s inefficient ATC system, by protecting overflights (during national strikes) which would deliver important environmental improvements in EU air travel. 

Regrettably, there has been zero action from the Commission on this environmental initiative.  We again call on Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to defend the single market for air travel by protecting 100% of overflights during national ATC strikes, as is already the case in Greece, Italy and Spain,” he said.

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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