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Flair Airlines releases report on sustainability, environmental initiatives

The tail section of a Flair Airlines plane is seen in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Flair Airlines The tail section of a Flair Airlines plane is seen in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Flair Airlines
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Edmonton-based Flair Airlines released a report Wednesday that included environmental, efficiency and sustainability initiatives, some it hopes to share across the aviation industry.

The Environmental, Social and Governance Report highlighted sustainability goals Flair is working toward.

"As Canada's only ultra low-cost carrier, our mission has always been to provide affordable travel to Canadians," said Stephen Jones, the CEO of Flair Airlines. "Our dedication to sustainability has been an integral part of that mission from the beginning."

"We're reducing our carbon footprint through choosing better, collaborating with our supply chain and operating with less," said Amanda Mesluk, the senior manager of sustainability at Flair.

"On average, we're about 30 per cent less carbon emissions per flight than other traditional carriers."

Flair is also working on initiatives to recycle plastics to reduce the amount of waste coming off of planes.

In 2023, the company focused on reducing single-use plastics and plans to expand its sustainable cabin initiative. This included replacing plastic cutlery and cups with recycled paper and compostable products.

"Those processes and standard operating procedures that are designed with our airport partners will be shared with aviation as a whole," Mesluk said. "As simple as it seems, there's been challenges in this space and there continues to be challenges for domestic waste.

"In domestic arrivals, not all airports have the infrastructure to support recycling of in-cabin waste, as well as the waste haulers; those contracts haven't been set up."

In support of sustainable aviation fuels, the Canadian government announced $500 million per year to support biofuel production in the 2024 Budget.

"Sustainable aviation fuels play a really important part in the future of the aviation industry," Jones said. "There are lots of challenges with sustainable aviation fuels, the challenges of the economics are one of the primary ones, but there's also challenges around distribution logistics, getting it through the supply chain to all of the points where we pick up fuel for the aircraft.

"It's great to see that the government is playing its part in that as well."

In 2023, Flair created 8,000 jobs and expanded its bases of operations, according to Mesluk.

In March, data from aviation analytics company Circum showed there were around 600 fewer Flair flights scheduled in March, April and May this year, versus the same months in 2023.

"Overall capacity, as measured by the industry-standard metric Available Seat Miles (ASM), is up by four per cent compared to the same March to May period last year,” Jones said in a statement in March.

“Over 70 per cent of ASMs this past winter season were deployed to warm-weather destinations. These routes are typically longer than domestic routes, so we are operating further but slightly fewer flights."

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