//Responsible Travel to ban short internal flights
Justin Francis, CEO of Responsible Travel, sits next to a local woman outside her house in Zambia

Responsible Travel to ban short internal flights

Tour operator Responsible Travel will scrap flights of less than an hour by January 2022, as part of a broader push to cut emissions.

Holiday company Responsible Travel is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a pledge to ban internal jet flights of less than an hour, across its 6,000 trips in over 190 countries.

The changes will be implemented by January 2022 and are part of broader ongoing measures to cut emissions. In 2020 the company committed to a 55% reduction in CO2 per traveller by 2030, without the use of carbon offsets, which it scrapped in 2009.

It was also the first travel company to sign up to the Get Nature Positive initiative, which commits to a biodiversity net gain by 2030.

Responsible Travel has begun advising customers to ‘fly less and stay longer’, also increasing rail and domestic holidays, and choosing electric vehicles, renewably powered accommodation and vegan offerings as much as possible.

“The inescapable truth is that we have to fly less,” said Justin Francis, co-founder and CEO of Responsible Travel (pictured top).

“As individuals, of course we can make that choice – but business needs to shoulder its share of responsibility.  We have to shelve the myth that we can offset our way out of the climate crisis – that’s not a solution to reducing emissions, it’s false advertising designed to perpetuate flying as usual.

“Reducing carbon and restoring biodiversity are crucial, so that’s what we’re working hard to achieve.

“The way we travel needs to change. Alongside our own work, we continue to encourage customers to take fewer flights and, when they do fly, to make it count by staying in destination longer and booking a responsible holiday that directly benefits local communities and nature.

“We’ll continue to offer responsible trips with flights, because I believe travel has immense value for individuals, communities and nature. I want to encourage exploration of our planet in a way that not only minimises harm, but maximises good. When tourism works for local communities and benefits nature, travellers get a far richer experience too.”