Carbon Offset Program for Air Travelers Launches in Europe and Africa

MARRAKECH, Morocco , Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Low-cost airline Atlas-Blue is today the first carrier in Africa and second in Europe , to offer carbon offsets as an integrated part of its booking platform. At a time when the environmental impact of air travel is increasingly important to consumers, Atlas-Blue passengers reserving a flight on its website now have the option of cancelling out harmful carbons emitted during their trip by contributing to carbon-neutralizing projects around the globe. The offset program powered by Airsavings SA, a global supplier of back-end technology to low-cost carriers, calculates flight emissions based on distance travelled, fuel consumed, load factor, capacity and radiation effect. The program computes a monetary contribution based on these coordinates sufficient to neutralize the carbon emitted. Contributions go directly to ActionCarbone, a European-sponsored nonprofit organization that funds carbon-offsetting projects like tree planting and alternative energy implementation across the world. ActionCarbone ( is backed by ADEME, France's government agency for environment and energy issues, and is operated by GoodPlanet, an NGO that promotes sustainability and ecological preservation.

Atlas-Blue's move comes just as the European Union's first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2008-2012) begins. Although air travel is not expressly covered, reducing emissions generated during flight is seen as integral to meeting obligations outlined by the protocol. For Atlas-Blue, providing carbon offsets to passengers is also very good business sense. In just two years, the subsidiary of Royal Air Maroc has become the largest e-commerce airline in the southern Mediterranean region, serving many major European cities. The carrier operates a young fleet of A320 aircraft, reflective of its commitment to sustainable development by deploying energy-efficient planes.

"Demand for a way to effectively cancel out climate-changing effects inherent to air travel is very high on our customers' list of priorities," says Raphael Bejar , CEO of Airsavings SA. The company provides revenue generation and other solutions for low-cost airlines, focusing on improving their profitability. "Travelers are very concerned about their carbon footprint; offering them a way to minimize the impact of their flight on the environment allows us to meet their wishes and add value to the Atlas-Blue experience."

The program on Atlas-Blue's website is the first dynamically integrated offset initiative; whereas other airlines offer a flat-fee offset based on averages, Atlas-Blue calculates contributions based on distance as determined by GPS coordinates. Passengers also have the option of electing not to contribute.

SOURCE Airsavings