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From AI to Hydrogen Engines: The Technology easyJet is Using to Become More Sustainable

It’s well known that easyJet is one of the UK’s top airlines. In 2021, they overtook British Airways’ passenger numbers for the first time and, in 2022, boarded more than 33 million people from the UK. Currently, it sits in the fourth spot among the most highly regarded airlines in the country.

Many travellers prefer easyJet because of its extreme affordability, allowing countless passengers to reach their dream destinations. Besides this, easyJet is also becoming more sustainable, catering to many eco-conscious travellers’ preferences. The company does this with the help of several technologies, which will be discussed below:

Efficient sustainability data management to cater to eco-conscious customers

More people are becoming eco-conscious travellers. That’s why an increasing number of tourists are opting for all-inclusive packages: they’re usually more sustainable. Travellers will only stay in one resort, focusing the use of resources—like electricity—in a single area, compared to having tourists in multiple accommodations. It also prevents mass tourism in natural destinations that would otherwise become polluted.

Though easyJet is best known as a low-cost airline, it also caters to this demographic through services that pair travellers with accommodations that align with their eco-friendly values. easyJet offers cheap all inclusive holidays that include flights, hotels, transfers, meals, and activities in one package. The company only recommends packages that include hotels with recognised eco credentials as part of its sustainability plans. But easyJet doesn’t stop there. It partnered with startup software company BeCause, which helps businesses manage sustainability data. This assists easyJet in collecting sustainability data from hotels, so it can efficiently identify sustainable accommodations. By doing so, travellers can be guaranteed that their trips are eco-friendly.

Digital customer service solutions for reduced carbon footprint

On the topic of booking, easyJet also practises sustainability through its digital customer service solutions. At first glance, there seems to be no relationship between the two. After all, our post ‘How Technology Needs to Do the Heavy Lifting in Customer Experience for the Travel Sector’ notes how digital solutions—like automation—usually help companies make customer service more efficient by allowing them to complete tasks without human intervention.

On the contrary, digital customer service solutions can actually be sustainable. For instance, chatbots can reduce the carbon footprint associated with the transportation of employees to the office or the energy needed to power the buildings and devices they’ll use. easyJet partnered with customer service digital solutions provider Lokulus for this reason, encouraging more sustainable customer service for its customers.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) for better food waste management

Food waste is a major problem in tourism. Travellers seek many cuisine options, so hotels meet this demand by providing different options. Unfortunately, not everything is eaten, ending up in waste bins.

This is why easyJet uses AI technology to cut hotel food waste. The company is already using this technology in one of its partner hotels, the Bahia Principe Sunlight Costa Adeje resort in Tenerife. Through an initiative with AI developer Winnow, they programmed motion cameras to ‘see’ how much food is being wasted. Kitchens that use Winnow’s AI technology typically reduce food purchasing costs by 2-8% after 12-18 months of use, a great help for resorts that make hundreds of dishes a day. Using this, the resort can determine which dishes or ingredients often end up in waste bins, so they could prevent buying and making these food products.

Hydrogen engines for zero-carbon aviation

It’s no secret that air travel is a major contributor to carbon emissions. Aeroplanes use jet fuel and, in the process, burn fossil fuel that releases not only CO2 emissions but also has warming effects due to nitrogen oxides. These trigger chemical reactions in the atmosphere, increasing global temperatures and climate change.
To change this, easyJet and multinational aerospace company Rolls-Royce began experimenting with hydrogen engines. Instead of jet fuel, these engines use ‘green’ hydrogen from wind and tidal power to make aeroplanes fly. Hydrogen doesn’t produce CO2 emissions when burned, therefore not contributing to climate change. Once the company implements this in most planes, it can provide more sustainable air travel.
easyJet has come a long way to make travel more sustainable. As it employs more technologies, one can only assume how much more eco-friendly the company will be.


Image credit: Anna Zvereva licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0