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Passenger perceptions of the green image associated with airlines

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journal contribution
posted on 09.01.2013, 16:35 by Robert Mayer, Tim Ryley, David Gillingwater
Environmental issues in air transport have grown in importance in recent years, and in response some airlines have been proactive to demonstrate their ‘green’ credentials. The aim of this paper is to identify air traveller perceptions of different airlines with regard to green image, and how passengers perceive different measures that airlines can introduce to reduce their environmental impact. The research is based on a large quantitative survey, of over 600 air travellers, conducted at Liverpool John Lennon Airport between April and July 2010. The data in this papers stems from a range of attitudinal statements on airlines, and measures that airlines could adopt to improve their environmental performance. When presented with a list of airlines, about half of respondents were able to differentiate between airlines based on environmental friendliness. The results show that low-cost airlines in general are not seen as more or less environmentally friendly than full service network airlines. Yet air travellers do indicate differences in the environmental image based on individual airlines. Furthermore, results vary depending on whether passengers had flown previously with a particular airline. Passengers also differentiate between measures that airlines can adopt to reduce the environmental impact of aviation. Using newer aircraft is seen as the most effective way to address the issue.



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MAYER, R.M.J., RYLEY, T. and GILLINGWATER, D., 2012. Passenger perceptions of the green image associated with airlines. Journal of Transport Geography, 22, pp.179-186.


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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Transport Geography. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published at:






Loughborough Publications