Hi Fly: The First Airline To Operate Plastic-Free Across Entire Fleet

by Chris Dong

You might not have heard of Portuguese airline Hi Fly, but there’s a chance you’ve flown them before. Hi Fly has a fleet of Airbus A319s, A321s, A330s, A340s and an A380. However, the airline operates as a wet lease operator including flying for Norwegian Air and the airline’s grounded Boeing 787s.

The airline now vows to be totally plastic-free by the end of 2019.

In December 2018 and January 2019, Hi Fly became the first airline to operate a flight without single-use plastics. The following items were replaced with plant-based catering, bamboo materials, etc on four test flights:

  • Cups and plates
  • Cutlery, plates, bottles
  • Salt and pepper kits
  • Sick bags and garbage bags
  • Headset and hot towel wrapping,
  • Champagne flutes

hi fly plastic-free

There were 700 passengers flying on the plastic-free services, which totaled 500g of plastic avoided. Since late last year, Hi Fly has had 12 more plastic-free flights and a further 1,150kg of plastic use saved.

“We are certain that additional solutions will arise for some of the items that are more difficult to replace and we are inclusively sponsoring some startups to invest their efforts in finding alternative materials to plastic,” a Hi Fly spokesperson said.

Hi Fly expects to start the plastic-free trend and have that spread to carriers across the industry. “We expect that within three years about 80% of the industry will be operating flights free of single-use plastics. That is our ambition and we think it is realistic to achieve,” the spokesperson insisted.

Related: France Considers Banning Domestic Flights An Environmental Concerns Grow

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