Flag carrier Air Canada has committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) across its global operations by 2050.

To achieve this target, the company will invest C$50m ($40m) in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and carbon reductions and removals over the next decade.

Furthermore, the carrier has set absolute mid-term GHG net reduction goals of 20% in flights and 30% in ground operations by 2030 compared with its 2019 baseline.

Air Canada president and chief executive officer Michael Rousseau said: “Economic growth and sustainability are equally important, and we have a strong track record for both. Despite the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we remain deeply committed to long-term sustainability.

“Climate change is critical, and we believe we can and must do more to address this for the future of our environment. This is why we are further embedding climate considerations into our strategic decision-making, and undertaking a very ambitious plan that is meaningful, will support Canada’s leadership position on climate change, advance de-carbonisation in the airline industry while keeping fares affordable for customers.”

Air Canada intends to achieve the targets through a combination of efforts within several key ‘carbon reduction pillars’ such as fleet and operations, innovation, SAFs, clean energy, and carbon reductions and removals.

The carrier will continue deploying its energy-efficient Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body fleets with the aim of reducing approximately fuel consumption per seat by 20% and CO₂ emissions by 20%.

Between 2016 and 2019, Air Canada reduced more than 135,000t of GHG from its air operations through fuel efficiency initiatives.