– Hi Fly airline supports it’s principal sustainability partner the Mirpuri Foundation, that it will soon be ‘Racing For The Planet’, as it launches the VO65 racing yacht for the next edition of The Ocean Race, the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world.

– Hi Fly is committed to contributing to a more responsible and sustainable planet by fighting against the very important issues that are plastic pollution and carbon emissions, and is actively implementing and promoting good practices in its business.

– Hi Fly will be the first Airline to be completely “Plastic free” by the end of 2019, and was the first Airline to declare that will be carbon neutral by 2022.

Hi Fly and the Mirpuri Foundation are continuing to work on new and imaginative projects to enhance and promote sustainability in related fields. So, this year the two organisations are devoting some of their efforts to battling climate change with a “Racing for the Planet” campaign.

This builds on two highly-successful campaigns to “Save the Coral Reefs” and “Turn the Tide on Plastic”, both of which were supported by educational programs, workshops and conferences. The Foundation and Hi Fly also continue to work together to champion sustainability initiatives around the globe, with Hi Fly aircraft carrying Foundation messages in their liveries. Accordingly, Hi Fly’s A330 CS-TQW’s displays a “Turn the Tide on Plastic” themed livery, and the world-famous A380 9H-MIP is carrying a “Save the Coral Reefs” message to all corners of the globe.

Hi Fly looks forward then to minimising its environmental impact as well as actively contributing to a better world by extensively supporting the Mirpuri Foundation’s six key areas of intervention: Aerospace, Medical Research, Marine Conservation, Wildlife Conservation, the Performing Arts, and Social Responsibility.

The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team launched its VO65 Ocean Race Boat ‘Racing for the Planet’, in a dance-filled ceremony at the Marina de Cascais, in Portugal.

The spectacular launch was attended by over 300 guests, including VIPs and key figures from the yacht-racing world, Portuguese Government, local dignitaries and journalists. Paulo Mirpuri, President of both Hi Fly and the Mirpuri Foundation, Richard Brisius, President of The Ocean Race, Gonçalo Esteves, President of the Cascais Naval Club, Joana Balsemão, City Councilor of Cascais and João Paulo Rebelo, Portuguese Secretary of State for Youth and Sport made the honor speeches to the audience. There was also a speech from Bruno Dubois, special advisor to the team owner and winner of the last edition of the Ocean Race, and that is helping Paulo Mirpuri to put a very strong team together.

The event began with guests soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying cocktails at Palácio da Cidadela in Cascais, and enjoying a video presentation on the Ocean Race itself and what the Mirpuri Racing Team were facing on their global adventure. Then the entire launch party made their way, in a sailor-style parade, to the boat, in the events-zone of the Marina, and formalities reached their peak. At this point all eyes turned to the boat, who officially was christened the vessel “Racing for the Planet’ with a traditional Champagne spray. To great applause, the boat was launched to the ocean and the party exploded into life with close to 50 dancers and musicians springing into action as the Marina’s events-zone was suddenly transformed into a big celebration.

After the ceremony, Paulo Mirpuri said: “Conservation is one of the founding principles of the Mirpuri Foundation, and after we saw what a super platform the Ocean Race gave us to carry our message, on the perils facing our oceans and sea life, to the four corners of the globe, we decided to go again. But, this time, with our own boat and our own team and with a new, even bigger, message. We hope that too that the launch will act as a reminder of what we are trying to achieve with this whole project. We have all watched as extreme weather, and rising sea levels, have brought misery and hardship to millions. We all know too that if we do not take action on climate change, our planet’s surface temperature could rise by three degrees, bringing unquantifiable destruction and suffering. So we felt that we must, as custodians of this wonderful planet at this key time in history, redouble our efforts to stop climate change. As our ocean race adventure begins to unfold ahead of us, we hope then that millions of people will see what we are doing and rally to our cause. Put simply, that is why the Mirpuri Foundation will be Racing For The Planet. That is why we are all here today”.

The Mirpuri Foundation’s entry for the next edition of the Ocean Race, named ‘Racing for the Planet’, is a VO65 class monohull racing yacht. Is numbered VO65-1, being the first built of eight vessels in all, and has a great pedigree, the same yacht winning the 2017–2018 edition of the Ocean Race, since which it has been completely refitted, becoming an even better boat. The Ocean Race will start from Alicante, Spain, in the autumn of 2021 and finish in Europe in early summer of 2022. There will be up to nine stopover ports, with the following already confirmed: Alicante, Aarhus, The Hague, Cape Verde, Genoa and Itajaí. Since 1973, The Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other. Over four decades it has kept an almost mythical hold over some of the greatest sailors and been the proving ground for the legends of our sport.

The Ocean Race is often described as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, sailing’s toughest team challenge and one of the sport’s Big Three events, alongside the Olympic Games and America’s Cup. The Ocean Race is an obsession, and many of the world’s best sailors have dedicated years, even decades of their lives trying to win it.

The partnership between Hi Fly and the Mirpuri Foundation

The Mirpuri Foundation is the principal sustainability partner of the Hi Fly airline. It is a non-profit organisation established by Hi Fly President, Paulo Mirpuri, whose efforts are single-mindedly directed towards making the world a better place for future generations. To this end, the Foundation promotes collaboration between global authorities, companies, communities and individuals, with the object of impacting positively on issues that threaten our planet.

Hi Fly, working with the Mirpuri Foundation, believes that:
– What is good for the world is also good for business;
– To sustain our success we must protect our greatest resource – the planet;
– Our success as a company depends on our people feeling inspired by their jobs and fulfilled in their careers.

Since its inception, the Foundation has worked alongside Hi Fly to help ensure that the Company becomes (and remains) one of the world’s leading proponents of sustainability in aviation. Hi Fly seeks to minimise our environmental impact by reducing emissions in our operations and in our supply chain, and by extending the lifecycle of products that we use.

Hi Fly believes in a circular economy and in a holistic approach to how we design, build, and deliver aviation products and solutions. Working with its Foundation, Hi Fly has taken a number of very practical steps to reducing carbon emissions:

• Navigation
Hi Fly makes use of FANS (Future Airline Navigation Systems) to ensure that our aircraft always take the most direct route to their destination. This ensures a reduced fuel burn and flight times on all Hi Fly flights.

• Single-engine taxiing
By shutting down an engine while taxiing, Hi Fly reduces its ground-level fuel burn and carbon dioxide emissions by 20 to 40 per cent. Single-engine taxiing can also reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 10 to 30 percent, depending on the type of aircraft and pilot technique.

Constant fleet renewal
Hi Fly currently has the youngest and most efficient fleet in its history. Hi Fly has reduced our carbon dioxide emissions through fleet renewal and optimisation of the occupation of our aircraft. The A330neo delivered here today has a potential of 25 per cent advantage in fuel burn per seat when compared to previous-generation competitors’ aircraft.

World’s first carbon-neutral airline
Hi Fly is striving to be the first airline in the world to offset all of its carbon-dioxide emissions by the end of 2021. Though Hi Fly always encourages passengers to make ecological choices, we do not believe in passing on the responsibility for minimising emissions to our customers; Hi Fly takes the view that this responsibility rests upon the company. In order to reduce our carbon footprint, Hi Fly has been prepared to spend heavily on low emission aircraft and, with the help of the Foundation, have researched different ways to offset our emissions. So, Hi Fly and the Foundation are currently exploring a seaweed-growth programme because, as well as absorbing a great deal of carbon dioxide, seaweeds have the potential to store carbon long term. Seaweed can also be harvested and used to produce biofuels. Other carbon offset programs are also being considered, tested and independently verified for implementation

• First single-use plastic free airline in the world
In March 2018, Hi Fly pledged we would become the first single-use plastic free airline in the world by the end of 2019. Hi Fly has already undertaken a series of intercontinental “plastic-free” test flights where over 700 passengers were transported between Portugal and Brazil with the usual food and drink provided – but without a single-use plastic item on board of the aircraft involved. Hi Fly has sourced and developed items made of biodegradable or reusable materials. Other on-ground projects, such as recycling and waste minimisation processes, have seen our cabin waste slashed.

• Waste management and this year’s Sustainable Cabin Forum
At Hi Fly we have already implemented many sustainable practices as part of an integrated waste management strategy, but our Sustainable Cabin Forum 2019, was hailed as a groundbreaking success after it gave airline and airport operators the opportunity to discuss their experiences, achievements and aspirations, for the first time with key regulators, in a bid to tackle the challenges of single-use plastic and catering waste in aviation. The Forum, held at the Penha Longa Resort in the Natural Park of Sintra, was organised by Hi Fly and the Mirpuri Foundation, in partnership with IATA and under patronage of the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella. Hi Fly continues to make conscious and informed decisions about how its waste is handled with prevention, reuse, generation, separation, recovery, collection, transfer, recycling, treatment and correct disposal all playing an important role. (You can see what others thought about the Forum at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5pCNGhUISw&t=2s)