If we think greener, we fly greener

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During the 2020 Riga Aviation Forum scientific conference, which took place on September 9 and was devoted to the topic of sustainability, I had the opportunity to address this important topic which is a crucial part of our business.

The aviation industry has been working hard towards more sustainable operations, and with common efforts has demonstrated great results. We in the aviation industry were even better than other sectors in reducing our impact, and we were faster in developing modern technologies and other advancements. Currently, though, the Covid-19 crisis has disrupted and affected all of us and now we are talking about surviving, mass unemployment and other crisis measures. Is there reason to believe that sustainability is no longer important? No, in fact it is very important now, and will be even more important once we overcome the crisis.

Sustainability is an integral part of our daily lives and future, and it is not only about clean air. At airBaltic, we are focusing on environmental, economic and social sustainability. We are currently preparing our first sustainability report, which is our long-term commitment to sustainability.

According to IATA research, the impact of the Latvian aviation industry on Latvian GDP reaches 3%. There is an impact on the economy when the airline providing sustainable connectivity is not doing that anymore. It is therefore our aim to maintain and improve the connectivity of the Baltics long-term.

It is also important to mention that airBaltic used to operate five different aircraft types. Now we are focusing on only one aircraft type, the Airbus A220-300, and this aircraft is the greenest and most environmentally friendly aircraft in the world in its category. It saves 22% fuel and reduces CO2 emissions by 20%.

In addition, last year we joined other airlines to sign the IATA gender diversity pledge. We committed to have 25% female participation across all levels in our airline. Already today, 50% of our managers are female, and 40% of top management members are female: the industry only wants to achieve these milestones by 2025.

Sustainability as an issue will become even stronger. It will drive all of us for the next 20-30 years, because that is the key that helps to make our planet a better place. Airlines will have to focus on sustainability when they are coming back from the crisis. The future winners will be those who are already working on sustainability. We want to take airBaltic and what we do as an example of what we do in the world. We think greener, we fly greener.

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