Aircraft leasing industry collaborates to drive aviation to a sustainable future

January 17, 2022

Aircraft Leasing Ireland (ALI), the Ibec body representing aircraft lessors has today (January 17th 2022) announced that its 31 members will collaborate and use their influence as owners of more than half of the global fleet to lead and drive aviation* towards a sustainable future.  ALI launched its ESG narrative, “Aviation Sustainability: Our Future” (see below), which outlines the tangible steps to be taken by aircraft lessors to support aviation to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Speaking at the launch of the narrative at the Airline Economics annual conference in Dublin, Declan Kelly, Chair of ALI said, “Air travel has been a catalyst for our global economy. With the industry set to achieve a steady growth rate over the coming years, it is essential that this is delivered sustainably.  Today we are taking our first, unified, positive steps as lessors to show our commitment to supporting the wider industry to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

This is achievable but it requires a seismic shift in the development of new technologies in the area of carbon sequestration, Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and new propulsion aircraft. Support is therefore required at all levels across government and industry.   Ireland, as an island aviation nation, can play a leading role in this technological research and leasing can underpin this by deploying our capital and buying power.”  

Authored in conjunction with Oliver Wyman, the University of Limerick and TU Delft Netherlands the narrative outlines aviation’s pathways to achieve net zero by 2050 through aircraft design, operational improvements, SAF, electrical/hydrogen propulsion and recycling.

Jan Melgaard, Executive Chair of FPG Amentum and Chair of ALI’s Sustainability Committee said, “The complexities of aviation, driven by an extensive regulatory environment, result in the technological leaps required to address the climate threat being measured in decades rather than years. As a result, the need for us to take action today to transition our industry to carbon neutrality by 2050 is even more outspoken, even though the results of our actions are not immediately visible.”

ALI commits to be the leading aircraft lessor organisation on sustainability and is committed to driving sustainability across the entire aircraft lifecycle. Tangible steps include:

The development of a charter during 2022, which will demonstrate leadership in carbon disclosures and will accelerate progress in future aircraft and low carbon technologies. 
As buyers of more than 50% of the world’s new technology aircraft, to represent, encourage and assist members to use their very significant influence with the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and airline customers, in requiring a step change to ensure that the industry can achieve net zero by 2050.
To commit to a first Aviation Sustainability Day in Ireland during 2022, inviting relevant stakeholders to further discussion and progress towards net zero by 2050. 
To actively encourage members to act on the environment today, ranging from arrangements to ensure that employees choose travel service providers based on sustainability credentials, steer aircraft investments towards aircraft with low energy intensity, expand the recycling of aircraft and expand members’ value chain to include sustainable investments (e.g. SAF projects, electric or hydrogen-based propulsion projects). 
To work actively with the University of Limerick with respect to leadership of sustainability initiatives and to expand involvement with other Irish universities in a collaborative effort to drive sustainability via research, curriculum development and continued development of thought leadership. 

Robbie Bourke, Partner, Oliver Wyman and co-author of the narrative added, “The aircraft leasing community is taking its first practical steps to support and work with the entire industry to achieve net zero.  This will be delivered through close collaboration with OEMs, airlines and governments who have within their gift, the power to accelerate change.”

Trevor Young, Professor in Aeronautical Engineering, University of Limerick and co-author of the narrative concluded, “The technological solutions to address sustainability in aviation are multi-layered, complex and still at an early stage.  We welcome the support from industry as it is only through a focus on research that we can achieve the big step change that is required.” 

*aviation denotes airlines, OEMs and suppliers to the aviation industry


Aviation Sustainability - Our Future - January 2022 pdf | 2979.7 kb