Tourism, Cars, Traffic

Thursday, 30 July 2009 17:18

QATAR AIRWAYS ELECTED TO IATA ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE

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Airline Appointed By Top Global Aviation Body In Recognition For
Outstanding Environmental Work

Qatar Airways has been elected as a member of the International Air Transport Association’s Environment Committee (ENCOM), one of IATA’s six groups focusing on different industry-related issues. The Doha-based airline, which flies from Johannesburg to Doha daily and from there onward to 84 international destinations, will sit alongside a select group of international carriers to advise relevant IATA bodies on environmental matters and act with other members as a focal point within IATA on environmental issues.

Appointments to the committee are made in recognition of the airline’s achievements and contributions towards environmental sustainability. As Qatar Airways plays an active role in improving its environmental performance and taking leadership in the research of alternative fuels, the airline was delighted about its new membership in this key advisory committee and the acknowledgement of innovative steps taken within this field. Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is committed to shaping and supporting international efforts to develop an environmentally and economically sustainable global policy framework for reducing CO2 emissions from the aviation sector.” “Being an active member of IATA’s Environment Committee will provide us with the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the on-going environmental debate on how to combat climate change and how to reduce global emissions in line with international targets.”

The tenure of the appointment is a period of two years, in which Qatar Airways will be represented on the committee by its Senior Manager Corporate Social Responsibility, Environment & Fuel Optimisation. With the world’s governments meeting in Copenhagen in December this year to negotiate a new global deal on climate change, Qatar Airways’ appointment as part of IATA’s ENCOM is timely as airlines work towards developing an industry position on tackling and reducing emissions from the sector. The airline industry currently accounts for only two per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. But the industry is taking a positive stance towards reducing emission levels as part of its commitment to safeguarding the environment and driving its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.

Chris Schroeder, who is in charge of the airline’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme “The Oryx Flies Green”, added: “As one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, we recognise that it is important to go beyond the current best industry practices to reach our final goal – carbon neutral growth. “The aviation industry is pursuing ambitious efforts to reduce the overall carbon footprint. What we need now are practicable measures to deal with emissions from aviation, which we do not see incorporated in unilateral enforced emission trading schemes, but as a global solution for the aviation industry.”

Qatar Airways’ engagement in ENCOM follows a recent initiative from the airline, in conjunction with IATA, to develop a global carbon offset trading scheme where passengers opt to pay extra for tickets to help fund various global environmental projects. The IATA system is currently being implemented and will be available to passengers in the near future. IATA has a membership base of 230 airlines from 120 countries, representing 93 per cent of the world’s scheduled air traffic. IATA Southern Africa is based in Johannesburg. Qatar Airways currently operates a young and modern fleet of 69 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 82 cities worldwide, a figure set to rise sharply. Within the next five years, the airline’s fleet will increase to more than 110 aircraft and network will exceed 120 destinations.

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