UK watchdog bans advert claiming lowest CO2 pollution of any major airline
Wed 5 Feb 2020 00.01 GMT
Shares 57 [image: A Ryanair plane comes in to land] Ryanair had claimed it was ‘Europe’s lowest fares, lowest emissions airline’. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA
The budget airline, which was named last year as one of Europe’s top 10 carbon emitters in an EU report
The ads claim that Ryanair has the “lowest carbon emissions of any major airline”, based on CO2 emissions per passenger per kilometre flown, because it has the youngest fleet, highest proportion of seats filled on flights and newest, most fuel-efficient engines.
However, one of the charts Ryanair presented to the Advertising Standards Authority
The ASA also said that the ads failed to factor in seating density – the number of seats per plane – which it considered “significant information that consumers needed in order to understand the basis of the claim”.
The ASA banned the ads ruling that they were misleading because the airline had failed to substantiate its environmental claims.
“The ads must not appear again in their current forms,” the ASA said. “We told Ryanair to ensure that when making environmental claims they held adequate evidence to substantiate them and to ensure that the basis of those claims were made clear.”
The environmental group Transport & Environment accused Ryanair of greenwashing instead of tackling its emissions.
The airline ran the low-emissions ad campaign just over five months after it became the first non-coal company to be named in the EU top 10 carbon emitters list.
“Ryanair should stop greenwashing and start doing something to tackle its sky-high emissions,” said Jo Dardenne, the aviation manager of T&E.
Ryanair remained defiant, claiming it had abided by the UK advertising code. Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk
“Ryanair is both disappointed and surprised that the ASA has issued this ruling given that Ryanair fully complied with advertising regulations, engaging with regulators and providing documentation that fulfilled all the substantiations needed,” said a spokeswoman.
The Ryanair boss, Michael O’Leary, has suggested shooting environmentalists
Last year, Ryanair claimed it was already the greenest airline in terms of carbon e