As more partners in the travel sector aim to ditch plastic, charter airline Hi Fly has joined the ranks in trying to make an environmental difference.
Major hotel brands like Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Taj, Four Seasons, along with airlines like Alaska, American, Thai, Ryanair have all switched out single-use plastics for alternatives made of bamboo and compostable materials.
Hi Fly has started trialing alternative materials over the course of four test flights. Their first two flights which departed on December 26, 2018 saw the use of these new materials (along with glass and ceramic combinations) being used for food packaging, cups, plates, and flatware (among many other items). The first two trials were carried out on a round trip flight between Lisbon (LIS), Portugal and Natal (NAT), Brazil on one of their Airbus A340s (registered 9H-SUN).
The airline’s goal is to eventually move entirely away from using single-use plastic by the end of 2019. According to the company’s President Paulo Mirpuri, the four test flights will save a combined total of 350 kg of plastic from ever reaching landfills.
“This historic Hi Fly flight, without any single-use plastic items on board, underlines our commitment to making Hi Fly the world’s first ‘plastics-free’ airline within 12 months.
“We take that commitment very seriously.
“We are obviously excited and delighted that Hi Fly will be the first airline to attempt such a feat.
“Our corporate mission is based around sustainability and we work hand in glove with the Mirpuri Foundation to make sure that our corporate practices match our wider responsibilities to the planet.
“The test flights will prevent around 350 KG of single-use, virtually indestructible plastics from poisoning our environment.
“Over 100,000 flights take off each day around the world and, last year, commercial aircraft carried nearly four billion passengers. This number is expected to double again in less than 20 years. So, the potential to make a difference here is clearly enormous.
“The test flights will help us trial the many substitute items we have developed and introduced them, in a real-world environment.
“We know we may encounter some initial teething problems, but we are confident of addressing these over the coming months.
“We know, too, from the feedback we have received from client airlines and passengers, that it’s the right thing for the airline to be doing.”