WestJet CEO says aviation will need significant government support to decarbonize

The CEO of Canada’s second-largest airline says global efforts to decarbonize the aviation sector by 2050 will lead to a significant increase in ticket prices unless governments step in to offer support.

Alexis von Hoensbroech, CEO of Calgary-based WestJet, made the comments at the 24th World Petroleum Congress, a major international oil and gas conference being held this week in that city.

Von Hoensbroech says WestJet is the largest consumer of petroleum products in the oil province of Alberta, spending more than $1 billion a year on jet fuel.

He says the airline is investing in newer, more efficient planes to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

But he says what the industry really needs is financial and regulatory support to encourage the use of sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF.

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SAF is an industry term for a low-carbon fuel made from renewable materials rather than petroleum, but it is currently five times more expensive than traditional jet fuel.

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