Here's why one airline is encouraging people not to fly

While most airlines are striving to win business, a Dutch airline has taken the unusual step of encouraging passengers to consider whether they really need to take a flight.

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KLM has taken the unusual step of encouraging passengers to consider whether they really need to take a flight. Image: franckreporter

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has launched a new campaign video and website called “Fly Responsibly,” in which it encourages travellers and the aviation industry to join with it to make the world aware of our shared responsibility around minimising the impact flying has on the environment. Acknowledging the onus on us to leave a beautiful world for our children to explore, it asks viewers of its campaign video three questions. "Do you always have to meet face to face." "Could you take the train instead?" and "Could you contribute by compensating your CO2 emissions or packing light?"

Flying contributes around 2.5% of global emissions and various governments are asking airlines to be more accountable in this area. While KLM wants to stay in business as an airline, it says it wants to speed up progress towards a sustainable future, and still needs to make a profit to survive and to continue to invest in sustainable solutions. This means continuing its fleet renewal programme, using more sustainable fuel and opening a sustainable fuel plant in the Netherlands.

People standing in line to board a plane
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has launched a new campaign video and website called Fly Responsibly. Image: Yvan Cohen/LightRocket/Getty Images

"Furthermore, we will make our catering on board ever more responsible, continue with waste reduction towards our 2030 targets and work towards a zero-emissions ground operation by driving innovations with our suppliers," it says. When it comes to passengers, the airline says that while alternative modes of transport can indeed be a more energy-efficient option, there is, in most cases, no fast and comfortable alternative for long distances. On that basis, it will "investigate rail connections for short distance destinations and support research into new aircraft design.“

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KLM has launched a campaign video and website called Fly Responsibly. Image: Flashpop

“We all have to fly every now and again,” it concludes. “But next time, think about flying responsibly.” For further information and tips on how to contribute, check out the Fly Responsibly website here.