The CEO of one Europe’s largest and fastest-growing budget carriers is calling for the ban of business and first class. For the environment, of course. And of course, his airline does not offer a premium cabin of service.
Jozsef Varadi, the CEO of Wizz Air, said:
Business class should be banned. These passengers account for twice the carbon footprint of an economy passenger, and the industry is guilty of preserving an inefficient and archaic model.
A rethink is long overdue, and we call on fellow airlines to commit to a total ban on business class travel for any flight under five hours.
Varadi claims this is all for the environment. With a straight face, he claims “if we are truly to make a difference” airlines must eliminate premium cabins.
He rightfully mocks other airlines for their lip service on the environment but then points to WizzAir’s own record as the “most responsible” on carbon emissions.
That’s like saying Three Mile Island wasn’t as bad as Chernobyl…
Want to know why he’s really full of it? He also frowns upon connecting flights, i.e. the hub and spoke model:
Look at connecting traffic compared to point-to-point. When you connect, you’re going to be taking 2 flights. So your impact on the environment is going to be at least twice as bad compared to a single flight, a point-to-point flight.
Right. Like passengers through Budapest, where Wizzair serves 64 destinations, or Warsaw, where Wizzair serves 46 destinations, only fly nonstop. Wizzair may not sell “connecting” flights, but that means nothing. Rather, consumers just buy two tickets instead of one. That policy is not for the environment, but to minimize EU261/2004 delay compensation claims.
Mr. Varadi, your hypocrisy is showing.
Like the antics of Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary, we know that this is likely jut as much a publicity stunt as anything else. But for someone who runs a very respectable airline, I am surprised by his rather disreputable antics.