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A4A Carriers Celebrate Sustainability

Throughout April, which has become known as Earth Month, Airlines for America’s member carriers highlighted their commitments to a sustainable future and showcased their efforts toward environmental stewardship. Today, U.S. carriers transport over 2 million passengers and 65,000 tons of cargo per day while contributing just 2 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. We are proud of the strides our industry has made and our aggressive commitments to making airline operations even greener.

As Earth Month comes to an end, we are pleased to share a few of the ways our members are advancing their commitments to creating an even more sustainable aviation industry:


Alaska Airlines celebrated Earth Month by reducing their plastic waste on board and partnering with Shell to push sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) forward to lead the airline industry toward a more eco-conscious future. Learn more here.

Click here to learn more about Alaska’s Sustainability efforts.


American Airlines Vice President of Sustainability, Jill Blickstein, discussed the many initiatives the carrier is undertaking to enhance its sustainability in a recent podcast. During this show she talks about the latest advancements in SAF, fleet upgrades the airline has made to enhance its sustainability and an AI-enabled system called ‘Smart Gating’ that conserves fuel and saves time for travelers.

Click here to listen to the podcast


Atlas Air committed to fleet upgrades, improved fuel management and hybrid and electric vehicles investments in efforts to honor Earth Day. Atlas initiated an integration of eight of their fleet which enables them to optimize resource consumption. With the assistance of FuelPlus, they will continue to enhance tracking of global fuel purchases.

Learn more: Celebrating Earth Day Every Day by Investing in Our Planet


Delta Air Lines is eliminating single-use plastic products as much as possible while also diverting waste from landfills. By partnering with Mexico-based brand Someone Somewhere, Delta eliminates five single-use plastic items on board, reducing their annual plastic use by up to 90,000 pounds. As of 2022, Delta has eliminated 4.9 million pounds of single-use plastics.

To learn more about Delta’s roadmap to more sustainable travel visit: https://news.delta.com/business-imperative-delta-outlines-roadmap-more-sustainable-travel


While celebrating its 50th birthday, FedEx pledged $100 million to Yale University to help establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture. The researchers will focus on offsetting greenhouse gas emissions by removing and storing Earth’s excess carbon. This will assist in offsetting current airline emissions through short-term, medium-term, and ongoing research. In addition, FedEx donated 50,000 trees to the Arbor Day Foundation in celebration of the first player to make a 50+ foot putt in the RBC Heritage golf tournament.


Hawaiian is investing in verified carbon offsets through their partnership with Conservation International. This partnership helps protect forests across the globe through actions to support ecosystems that absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere. By offsetting a flight, passengers will retire carbon credits and directly support community-driven activities that protect and restore critical forests around the world. Each credit represents a reduction of 1 metric ton in greenhouse gas emissions.


JetBlue received a $4 million grant from the FAA’s Voluntary Airport Lower Emissions (VALE) program which funds 60 new electric charging stations, enabling the carrier to convert 116 conventional ground vehicles to electric at JFK. This project will improve local air quality via a reduction of significant air emissions over 13 years.

Click here for more on JetBlue’s Sustainable Operations.


Television program “EARTH with John Holden” features an episode focusing on Southwest Airlines where viewers can learn how companies are implementing changes to protect the environment and promote an eco-friendlier world. In the episode, host John Holden travels to Texas and Colorado to learn how Southwest is investing in SAF company SAFFiRE Renewables to reduce the environmental impact of air travel by shifting the aviation market away from conventional jet fuel.


United hired Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street to be their new Chief Trash Officer! The future of flight is SAF, which can be made from things like trash which is Oscar’s specialty focus. To learn more about Oscar’s efforts within his new position visit: United.com/ChiefTrashOfficer


UPS touted their latest Sustainability Report, highlighting their progress towards achieving 100% carbon neutrality by 2050. Notable achievements include planting 28 million trees since 2012 and a 6.9% decrease in scope 1, 2 and 3 CO2 emissions. They also expanded their UPS Sustainability Trailblazers employment engagement program.

For more information on how the airline industry is contributing to a greener future, visit A4A’s Airlines Fly Green page

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