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Royal Mail to halve domestic flights

Image © Royal Mail

Royal Mail is scaling back its use of domestic air logistics in a move that will save c.30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, and help meet increasing customer demand for next day deliveries.

The parcel delivery company stressed that transporting more mail by road instead of air will improve reliability for customers, as road vehicles are less likely to be delayed by bad weather and road fleets are less capacity-constrained, enabling Royal Mail to transport more during busy periods.

A total of 18 domestic flights are being discontinued. The removal of these flights is a significant step yet for Royal Mail towards achieving its target of being Net-Zero by 2040, and part of the company’s wider modernisation and transformation programme.

The first wave of 11 flights made their final journeys in June, with an additional three flights stopping on 20 July and a further four early next year. The only domestic flights that will remain are those that are essential for Royal Mail to fulfil its Universal Service Obligation.

The capability to divert mail from air to road has been unlocked by changes Royal Mail has made to its operation, including later start times at delivery offices across the country, making it possible to accommodate longer journey times.

Alistair Cochrane, chief operating officer at Royal Mail, said: “Moving letters and parcel by air has played a significant role in Royal Mail’s history, enabling us to fulfil our commitment to provide a next day delivery service to every address in the UK. However, we are continually modernising and these changes to our network mean that we can reduce our reliance on air which is good for our customers and the environment.”

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