Virgin Atlantic Airways Founder Urges Lower Taxes On Clean Fuels
Virgin Atlantic Airways founder Sir Richard Branson says that airlines should pay less tax on fuel from clean sources, Bloomberg reported.
He is encouraging governments to remove taxes on airlines if they make efforts to use clean fuel and invest in biofuel companies.
“Governments need to make it clear that if it’s clean fuel it shouldn’t be taxed and if it’s dirty fuel it should be taxed and that seems to be the best way to speed things up,” he said in a phone interview with Bloomberg.
Branson added that aviation could shift from being the dirtiest industry to the cleanest by 2020 and airlines like Virgin Atlantic have already experimented with other sources of fuel.
“Once the breakthrough takes place, getting to 50-100 per cent is not unrealistic,” he said to The Guardian. “Aviation fuel is 25-40 per cent of the running costs of airlines, so the industry is open to new fuels. Unlike cars, where there are millions of filling stations, there are only about 1,700 aviation stations in the world. So if you can get the right fuel, like mass-produced algae [or waste gases from industrial steel and aluminium plants] then...[it] is not so difficult.”
For instance, in 2008, the airline became the first to fuel a plane with coconut oil and babassu nuts mixed with kerosene.
Virgin Atlantic is working with LanzaTech NZ Ltd. to help roll out production of the fuel “as fast as possible.”