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AMSTERDAM: KLM and 16 other SkyTeam members have accepted a challenge to see which airline can operate the most sustainable medium and long-haul flight this year in order to share best practice “from check-in to baggage belt”.

According to the airline, it wants to encourage employees “to broaden their perspectives and to think outside the box”.

Together with its peers it has devised the following rules for the Sustainable Flight Challenge:

• The challenge is focused on environmental sustainability.
• There are 2 distance categories: long haul > 5000 km and medium-haul 1000 - 5000 km. Airlines may participate in both distances.
• Airlines operate 1 single flight using an existing route per category.
• The challenge starts at the check-in and finishes when passengers pick up their bags at their destination. So, it's not just about an optimal flight, but also about sustainable solutions for freight, supplies, or food.
• Measurements will be compared to the other participating airlines.
• ‘Greatest CO₂ reduction’ awards will be measured against each airline’s own baseline set of reference flights with the same aircraft type in the same distance bound.
• Participating airlines may choose to compensate for any remaining CO₂ emissions from the chosen flights to be carbon neutral.
• Participants in the challenge will be judged in all award categories.
• Participating airlines commit to sharing all innovations on sustainability.

There are three main award categories with five finalists and one overall winner covering ‘Impact’: greatest CO₂ reduction, lowest CO₂ emissions (for flight, ground handling and food and beverage) and best waste management. ‘Innovation’: best inflight, best cargo, best bottom sustainable line and ‘The Boldest Move’. And ‘Collaboration’: best partnerships, customer engagement and employee engagement.

After the ‘Challenge, all the airlines will share best practices and knowledge in workshops covering waste management, optimum flight routes, sustainable ground handling and cargo.

“The challenge is for airlines to collaborate on sustainability instead of competing. United we can inspire, accelerate, and change the industry. And meet our ambitious climate goals,” added KLM.
 
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