Ryanair has doubled down on its claim it is ‘Europe’s greenest airline’ – a day after UK regulators ruled it misled consumers in adverts over its green credentials.
Yesterday, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that the budget carrier broke rules on environmental claims and misleading consumers in its press, TV, and radio ads from September 2019.
The print ad compared the carrier’s CO2 emissions per passenger, per kilometre, to four other big European carriers and claimed ‘Ryanair has the lowest carbon emissions of any major airline’, while the TV and radio spot referenced ‘low CO2 emissions’.
Ryanair has doubled down on its claim that it is ‘Europe’s greenest airline’ – a day after UK regulators ruled it misled consumers in adverts over its green credentials
The ASA said the ‘ads […] must not appear again in their current forms’, as the claims could not be substantiated. It added that customers would interpret the ads’ claims to mean that travelling with Ryanair would mean they were contributing less CO2 than travelling with other airlines, which could not be proved.
But today, Ryanair hit back by releasing its own CO2 emissions data for January along with a statement from its marketing officer Kenny Jacobs, who maintained the carrier is ‘Europe’s greenest/cleanest airline’.
He said: ‘With the youngest fleet and highest load factors, Ryanair is Europe’s greenest/cleanest major airline.
‘Our CO2 per passenger/km is the lowest in the industry, having been cut from 82g to 66g over the last decade while other high fare competitors currently generate over 120g per pax/km.
‘The single most important thing any consumer can do to reduce their carbon footprint is switch to Ryanair.
‘We are pleased to announce that our CO2 per pax/km for January was 69g, half the rate of other flag carrier European airlines, and we are committed to reducing this by a further 10 per cent to under 60g per pax/km by 2030.’
Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: ‘With the youngest fleet and highest load factors, Ryanair is Europe’s greenest/cleanest major airline’
After the statement was released, MailOnline Travel contacted Ryanair to ask why it described itself as ‘Europe’s greenest airline’ – given yesterday’s ASA ruling.
In reply, the airline said: ‘Ryanair’s CO2 emissions per passenger km is 66g, which is 25 per cent lower than the other major European airlines.
‘Ryanair is delighted with its latest environmental advertising campaign, which communicates a hugely important message for our customers. The single most important thing any consumer can do to halve their carbon footprint is switch to Ryanair.
‘We successfully ran this advertising message in 10 countries across Europe. We made minor adjustments to the advertising in the UK market at the request of the relevant approval bodies.
‘We were surprised we had to make these small changes, as the message was approved in other markets and we provided all the supporting data they required.’
It is unclear what ‘small changes’ have been made to the UK ads.
The ASA, which says it does not regulate ‘press releases or public relations material’, declined to comment.