Air transport has been the scene of remarkable and rapid innovation since man first controlled powered flight in Kitty Hawk in 1903. Significant developments in aviation technology, for example, the onset of the Jet Age, tend to dominate popular perception of aviation innovation. The commercial airline industry is hugely complex and inexorably tied to our economic, social and technological systems. Consequently, it is also on the leading edge of the sustainability debate. Modern air transportation has developed into a hugely complex system in a relatively short time. That rapid development and complexity, however, offers insights into how the industry can address the challenges of sustainability.