As New Year revellers the world over slipped into bed after a long night of celebrations, Hi Fly Airline staff were already hard at work making last-minute checks to make sure that the company’s stated resolution to be the world’s first airline with flights entirely single – use plastic free went without a hitch.
So, from January 1, 2020, as pledged by Hi Fly President Paulo Mirpuri in 2018, all Hi Fly’s own flights are taking to the air without any single-use plastic items on board.
The leading wet-lease carrier has worked hard to replace plastic with bamboo cutlery, cups, spoons, and salt and pepper shakers, while packaging for bedding, dishes, individual butter pots, soft drink bottles and toothbrushes were switched with compostable alternatives crafted from recycled material.
Hi Fly and its principal sustainability partner, the Mirpuri Foundation, have long been pioneers for greener aviation is serious about the future of the planet and our responsibility to future generations.
The company operated the world’s first ever ‘plastic-free’ trial flight when it took passengers on a Boxing Day trip from the carrier’s base in Lisbon to Natal, Brazil, on an Airbus A340 in December 2018. This was quickly followed with three further ‘plastic-free’ test flights in addition to a series of 12 reduced plastic journeys.
These flight tests concludes that every commercial passenger long haul flight that takes to the air with no single-use plastic items on board prevents around 350 kg of single-use, virtually indestructible plastic from poisoning our environment, about the weight of a large touring motorcycle of poisonous plastic saved in every return journey.
When scaling this up to take account of Hi Fly’s global operations, then the difference becomes significant.
Commenting ahead of the January 1st milestone, Hi Fly President Paulo Mirpuri said: “We pledged at the time of our historic Hi Fly test flights, without any single-use plastic items on board that we would make Hi Fly the world’s first ‘plastic-free’ airline within 12 months. We knew that if we worked hard to overcome the problems that it was 100% possible. More importantly, in our hearts, we knew it was much more than that. We knew that this was a 100% necessary move for the future of our planet.”
“We are excited and we are proud, but we were never in doubt”, said Paulo Mirpuri.
“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 clear,” Hi Fly President Paulo Mirpuri explained.
“We take our commitment very seriously.”
“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.”
Previous Hi Fly / Mirpuri Foundation-backed initiatives of note have included decorating Hi Fly aircraft, including its Airbus A380, the largest commercial passenger plane in the world, with environmental messages, including the Hi Fly / Mirpuri Foundation-backed campaigns to ‘Save the Coral Reefs’ and ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’.
Moreover, the Mirpuri Foundation’s participation in the 2017 Volvo Ocean Race, sailing under a UN Clean Seas banner, and well-established plans to take to the seas again for the 2021 edition of the famous Ocean Race, this time to highlight the dangers of climate change with the Mirpuri Foundation-owned team Racing for the Planet, raised awareness of Foundation initiatives to a new level globally.
The Hi Fly Mirpuri Foundation partnership also supports a raft of other environmental, conservation, scientific, artistic and exploration programs as well as sponsoring a wide range of educational and artistic events.