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Gulf Air Soars to Greener Skies; Committed to a Recycle and Reuse Campaign

Did you know the ‘green initiative’ of Bahrain’s national carrier saves $3bn (BHD1.34 bn) annually? The airline marks the amount on its savings column through e-ticketing. Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Samer Majali said: “E-ticketing, introduced in 2005, has dramatically reduced Gulf Air’s paper waste while the airline is also committed to a “recycle and reuse” campaign with various waste-saving initiatives.”

“We execute many of our customer interfaces electronically and all of the airline’s administrative functions are enabled with minimal paper usage within the Gulf Air team,” he stressed. “Even in-flight manuals are printed on thin paper,” he said.

Apart from these, the purchase of new fuel-efficient aircraft and the significant reduction of weight on board flights are some of the other measures taken by Gulf Air, to reduce carbon emissions and waste and, thereby, the airline’s carbon footprint.

The purchase of new fuel-efficient aircraft has reduced the average age of the Gulf Air fleet from 12 years in 2009 to 5.7 years with positive effects on the environment as a result, noted Majali.

“We have also introduced a number of initiatives internally such as establishing a fuel management committee to identify ways to optimize and save fuel, an “Every Saving Counts” campaign in which staff is encouraged to design cost and fuel-saving initiatives with monthly awards for the best concepts,” he explained.

Some of these initiatives include shutting down unnecessary engines when taxiing on the ground and reducing unnecessary weight on board. The result, in the past year, has been saving over 10,000 tons in carbon emissions.

In addition to the environmental initiatives, Gulf Air joined a bio-fuels initiative in 2009 and partnered with the United Nations Development Program earlier this year to mark World Environment Day.

Majali stressed the importance of reducing carbon emissions citing the airline industry’s current contribution of man-made carbon dioxide emissions (2%). While aviation generates 29 million jobs worldwide and provides approximately 8% of the global Gross Domestic Product, its environmental impact, he said, must also continue to be addressed.  The green initiatives of Gulf Air are being supported by the Bahrain Rotary Club.

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