Airline chiefs have no easy answers for flight-shaming critics

A passenger aircraft prepares to land at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, on Aug. 7, 2013. Foto: Bloomberg photo by SeongJoon Cho

Airline bosses sought to defend their business against a rising tide of criticism over aircraft emissions as an upswell of activism threatens to overwhelm the industry before it can mount an effective response.

The heads of carriers including Emirates, JetBlue Airways Corp. and EasyJet Plc, speaking at the World Aviation Festival in London, warned that reducing carbon emissions would take years, if not decades, given the limitations of current technology and expansion of air travel to an ever-wider slice of the global population...

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