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U.S. Airlines Celebrate Earth Month

Year-round, U.S. airlines are committed to meeting aggressive sustainability goals and strengthening efforts across the aviation industry to build a greener, more sustainable future.

We are proud that throughout April, which has become known as “Earth Month,” A4A’s member carriers have showcased their responsible stewardship of the environment and the communities they serve:

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is making investments in clean operations and aircraft and has brought up to 145 more fuel-efficient aircraft into the fleet, each saving 22 percent more on fuel. They have also stepped up investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and are working with partners to advance production capability in the Pacific Northwest.

As part of its efforts to improve communities, Alaska Air has also partnered since 2001 with travel2change to offer Hawaii-based social and environmental impact opportunities with organizations offering travelers enriching activities that create a positive benefit for communities across the Hawaiian Islands.

American Airlines

American Airlines is deepening its investments in sustainable aviation fuel. Last year, the carrier announced a new sustainable aviation fuel offtake agreement with Aemetis, bringing the airline’s total SAF commitment to more than 120 million gallons.

President Biden recently recognized American Airlines for the carrier’s leadership on this issue: “Take the word of the CEO of American Airlines who said, ‘Sustainable aviation fuel is the cornerstone of our strategy.'”

Atlas Air

Atlas Air is dedicated to flying a more fuel-efficient fleet. The carrier is the largest operator of Boeing 747 freighter aircraft, and is improving its fleet by adding aircraft with industry-leading fuel efficiency.

Atlas Air shares the industry’s commitment to flying net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and recently applauded comments from the White House identifying sustainable aviation fuel as vital to securing a more sustainable aviation future.

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines is highlighting its sustainability initiatives, from greener food-service containers and amenity kits to more efficient aircraft. The airline is also investing in organizations that promote sustainable fuel.

“A sustainable future starts with a more sustainable mindset,” said Delta’s Chief Sustainability Officer Pam Fletcher. “It means that every decision should consider the impact on our planet.”

Delta is also accelerating retirement of over 200 of its least fuel-efficient aircraft in an effort to use at least 6 percent less fuel per available seat mile compared to 2019.


FedEx recently launched Priority Earth, an initiative to deliver a more sustainable future, including designating more than $2 billion of initial investment in three key areas: vehicle electrification, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration.

Participating in a New York Times virtual event series last year, Chief Sustainability Officer Mitch Jackson discussed on the role FedEx envisions for transportation and logistics in a post-COVID, net-zero carbon emissions world.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is offering passengers the opportunity to offset carbon emissions from their flights and will match contributions made during Earth Month.

“Following our pledge last year to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, we wanted to also give our guests – both visitors to Hawaii as well as our island residents – the opportunity to reduce the impact of their individual emissions when traveling with us,” said Alanna James, managing director of sustainability initiatives at Hawaiian Airlines.

The donations will directly fund projects led by Conservation International that generate high-quality, independently verified carbon credits that protect forests and support local communities.


JetBlue is supporting the Great Global Cleanup, a worldwide campaign to remove billions of pieces of trash from neighborhoods, beaches, rivers, lakes, trails and parks.

By sharing information on EarthDay.org, volunteers can register their own cleanups or partner with others on projects locally.

In support of more sustainable fuel, JetBlue announced in 2021 plans to accelerate its commitment to SAF by working with suppliers to bring the largest-ever supply of SAF to New York-area airports.

And this month, JetBlue Technology Ventures announced an investment in TPG Rise Climate, a fund with holdings in a variety of sustainability initiatives, including emissions reduction in transportation.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has announced more opportunities for its business customers to support sustainability initiatives and empower them to take action.

“As business travelers return to the sky, we’re thrilled to offer our eligible Customers the opportunity to act, measure, and learn about incorporating sustainability initiatives into their travel programs, said Kevin Sullivan, Senior Director of Sales for Southwest Business. “We believe in meeting Customers where they are on their sustainability journey and recognize the importance of building the right foundation.”

United Airlines

United Airlines last year tested its first passenger flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel in one engine, an accomplishment President Biden recently highlighted among efforts to decarbonize the aviation industry.

United Airlines also this year announced it will invest in Houston-based Cemvita Factory’s synthetic biology process for biofuels, which has the potential to create a new way to produce sustainable fuel using carbon dioxide (CO2) and synthetic microbes.

“At United, we have been consistent in leading the airline industry with bold action when it comes to fighting climate change – that starts with building an ecosystem around companies like Cemvita Factory to create and commercialize new SAF technologies,” said Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures.


In an effort to roll out more sustainable last-mile solutions, UPS is bringing a fleet of electric-assist eQuad bikes taking to the streets in London as the cargo carrier explores new ways to serve customers while reducing carbon footprint and traffic congestion.

That’s on top of the cargo carrier’s efforts to expand the use of sustainable aviation fuel, which UPS pledges will make up 30 percent of fuel used for the company’s global air fleet by 2035.

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