For the second time since launching its industry-leading Eco-Skies program, United Airlines was named the Eco-Airline of the Year by Air Transport World (ATW) magazine, the airline said.
The award recognizes an airline in global commercial aviation for its environmental leadership as demonstrated by consistent and impactful environmental action within the company and in the industry.
The magazine awarded United with the top honor for multiple initiatives in 2016 and prior years, including becoming the first US airline to begin using commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel for regularly scheduled flights, marking a significant milestone in the industry by moving beyond demonstrations and test programs to the use of low-carbon biofuels for ongoing operations.
United´s Eco-Skies program represents the company´s commitment to the environment and the actions taken every day to create a sustainable future. In addition to incorporating sustainable biofuel into its operations at Los Angeles International Airport, United has instituted a number of environmentally friendly practices, such as investing USD 30m in US-based alternative aviation fuels developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc.; repurposing items from its international premium cabin amenity kits and partnering with Clean the World to donate hygiene products to those in critical need, and more.
The carrier has also added a carbon footprint measurement to its 2017 Global Performance Commitment. United is committing to achieving a lower gross carbon footprint than its two largest US-based competitors this year, as measured by carbon dioxide-equivalent per available seat-mile. If United does not meet the goals of its 2017 Global Performance Commitment, the airline will compensate eligible corporate accounts.
United Airlines and United Express operate more than 4,500 flights a day to 339 airports across five continents. In 2016, United and United Express operated more than 1.6m flights carrying more than 143m customers. The company operates 737 mainline aircraft and the airline´s United Express partners operate 483 regional aircraft. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines.