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Delta's Ed Bastian: "climate change means flying will cost more"

Delta's Ed Bastian: "climate change means flying will cost more"

Old Nov 14, 2021, 12:42 am
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Delta's Ed Bastian: "climate change means flying will cost more"

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59261408

The boss of the world's second biggest airline has said that tackling climate change will make flying more expensive.

"Over time, it's going to cost us all more, but it's the right approach that we must take," Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian told the BBC.
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 1:38 am
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Hmm, this is an interesting topic (which'll probably end up in OMNI). I'll probably post edit this post in the morning with other thoughts, but my initial gut reaction is actually not that bad... But these price increases need to be paired with more efficient aircraft, jet fuels, and operations as a whole in order for me to feel like they're not just shoving everything onto the customer. I don't think we want to live in a world where people can't go on vacation or travel for "fun". But if prices need to be **slightly** higher to price in negative externalities and attempt to limit demand, then so be it...

So many innovations need to happen in parallel for society as a whole to drawdown carbon emissions. Aviation is only 2%, but only a small portion of the global population is responsible for it. This aviation challenge is one small piece of a much larger puzzle that needs to be solved.
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 1:48 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerWx
Hmm, this is an interesting topic (which'll probably end up in OMNI). I'll probably post edit this post in the morning with other thoughts, but my initial gut reaction is actually not that bad... But these price increases need to be paired with more efficient aircraft, jet fuels, and operations as a whole in order for me to feel like they're not just shoving everything onto the customer. I don't think we want to live in a world where people can't go on vacation or travel for "fun". But if prices need to be **slightly** higher to price in negative externalities and attempt to limit demand, then so be it...

So many innovations need to happen in parallel for society as a whole to drawdown carbon emissions. Aviation is only 2%, but only a small portion of the global population is responsible for it. This aviation challenge is one small piece of a much larger puzzle that needs to be solved.
I wasn't sure where to post this, but since Delta's CEO said it, I figure this would be the right forum to post it. The mods can move the thread if they want.

Well, is it fair to limit demand by making flights more expensive? What about the right of the world that doesn't have the luxury of flying to a faraway destination for a vacation? I think John Kerry said that the key to solving climate change is through technology and not necessarily by reducing emissions. The drastic steps required to solve climate change will require a drastic change in our lifestyles, and people are only going to be on board if it doesn't negatively affect their lives. I don't know of too many people that want to go vegan, stop driving, use less heat in winter, cut back on air-conditioning in the summer, etc.
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 4:49 am
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Originally Posted by lsquare
If costs increase (for whatever reason), shouldn't they raise prices in order to stay in business?
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 4:50 am
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Originally Posted by moondog
If costs increase (for whatever reason), should they raise prices in order to stay in business?
That's what Ed Bastian is saying.
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 4:53 am
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Originally Posted by lsquare
That's what Ed Bastian is saying.
Alright, that seems like econ 101 material to me. If there is any controversy, it's going over my head.
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 5:01 am
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Originally Posted by moondog
Alright, that seems like econ 101 material to me. If there is any controversy, it's going over my head.
I just hope Ed will be wrong. As the rest of the world gets richer, I think they're going to want to fly. Every company wants to grow and expand.
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 5:34 am
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Originally Posted by lsquare
I just hope Ed will be wrong. As the rest of the world gets richer, I think they're going to want to fly. Every company wants to grow and expand.
If people are richer, then they'll be able to afford more expensive airplane tickets. It simply makes logical sense to me that end users ultimately end up shouldering additional financial burdens imposed by compliance with whatever new environmental standards come around.
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by moondog
If people are richer, then they'll be able to afford more expensive airplane tickets. It simply makes logical sense to me that end users ultimately end up shouldering additional financial burdens imposed by compliance with whatever new environmental standards come around.
There are many people around the world that make a fraction of what you and I make. When they get "richer," it doesn't necessarily mean they'll catch up to our level. I don't expect them to buy more expensive fares because of that. I don't want North America and the rest of the world to adopt some environmental policies that Europe is considering to deal with aviation emissions. If that's what you support, then you and I are on opposing sides.
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 7:57 am
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You can chide people all you want that they will need to "pay more", but it's a given that a percentage will react to higher prices by flying less (and either choose alternate modes of transport or simply travel less). This is also econ 101. This will have implications for many other industries as well (think hospitality and events). Also, airplanes do more than transport people (hello supply chain). Aircraft have unique challenges when it comes to energy density requirements and there's a lot of other lower hanging fruit that can be addressed with much bigger gains without the need for effectively jamming a big spanner in your economy. Is this thread OMNI yet?

Last edited by xliioper; Nov 14, 2021 at 8:04 am
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by xliioper
You can chide people all you want that they will need to "pay more", but it's a given that a percentage will react to higher prices by flying less (and either choose alternate modes of transport or simply travel less). This is also econ 101. This will have implications for many other industries as well (think hospitality and events). Also, airplanes do more than transport people (hello supply chain). Aircraft have unique challenges when it comes to energy density requirements and there's a lot of other lower hanging fruit that can be addressed with much bigger gains without the need for effectively jamming a big spanner in your economy. Is this thread OMNI yet?
It has a close cousin in Bad OMNI. Naturally, the air travel thing has been a popular sub-topic.
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 11:08 am
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So I see air travel getting more expensive short term to allow for carbon offsets and other carbon reducing measures. But Long term it will get less expensive as new technologies emerge. Whether its hydrogen fuel cells, Solar cells, rechargeable batteries (Think a Plane powered like a Telsa) or something else I can't even imagine right now. Even if it makes the initial capital outlay for a plane more expensive for an airline, if the fuel costs drop significantly, airlines will be begging for it and fleets will modernize very quickly.

Also I live very close to MSP, and the planes get quite noisy at times, but it's mostly the FedEx/UPS wide-bodies landing in the middle of the night that are the problem, but if the Jet Engine was replaced with something much quieter, that would be a game changer for places like LGB and other airports with strict noise abetment requirements
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by kop84
So I see air travel getting more expensive short term to allow for carbon offsets and other carbon reducing measures. But Long term it will get less expensive as new technologies emerge. Whether its hydrogen fuel cells, Solar cells, rechargeable batteries (Think a Plane powered like a Telsa) or something else I can't even imagine right now. Even if it makes the initial capital outlay for a plane more expensive for an airline, if the fuel costs drop significantly, airlines will be begging for it and fleets will modernize very quickly.

Also I live very close to MSP, and the planes get quite noisy at times, but it's mostly the FedEx/UPS wide-bodies landing in the middle of the night that are the problem, but if the Jet Engine was replaced with something much quieter, that would be a game changer for places like LGB and other airports with strict noise abetment requirements
Though I do think tech innovation will improve things, it will be a ways off for the not "jet engine" approaches.

Batteries are out. The Tesla batteries weigh far more than a tank of gas and go far less distance. In planes, weight is a bit of an issue. Hydrogen is a lot better. But even then you have real issues to solve and I would not expect anything for decades.

The biggest improvement will be more efficient planes and getting rid of the older less efficient planes. Possibly fuel that is more carbon neutral. Just like in cars.
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 11:48 am
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Fossil fuel is going to become more expensive, therefore flying is going to become more expensive.

it’s not climate change that’s causing it to get more expensive, it’s climate change mitigation and measures to control carbon emissions that will raise the price.

Climate change impacts will cost countries billions or trillions of dollars to mitigate. It stands to reason that they will seek to tax the activities that they felt contributed to that climate change to offset some of that cost.
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Old Nov 14, 2021, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by kop84
So I see air travel getting more expensive short term to allow for carbon offsets and other carbon reducing measures. But Long term it will get less expensive as new technologies emerge. Whether its hydrogen fuel cells, Solar cells, rechargeable batteries (Think a Plane powered like a Telsa) or something else I can't even imagine right now. Even if it makes the initial capital outlay for a plane more expensive for an airline, if the fuel costs drop significantly, airlines will be begging for it and fleets will modernize very quickly.

Also I live very close to MSP, and the planes get quite noisy at times, but it's mostly the FedEx/UPS wide-bodies landing in the middle of the night that are the problem, but if the Jet Engine was replaced with something much quieter, that would be a game changer for places like LGB and other airports with strict noise abetment requirements
I live near SEA, but they changed the flight patterns around so now we get a lot of BFI traffic which is cargo. The FedEx/UPS/misc cargo companies operating the older 747s and MD-11s are brutal when they are at 4,000 feet. Its gotten to the point where I can tell you the a/c type from the rumble it makes. As much as I appreciate those a/c for the nostalgia, they are best seen in a museum and not heard at this point.
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