The Emirates Group is investing in its people, new systems, technologies and infrastructure to enable it to continue develop business profitably and sustainably, Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group, said.
The Emirates Group, comprising Emirates airline and dnata, on Thursday published its seventh annual Environmental Report which outlines the Group’s environmental performance for the financial year 2016-2017.
Audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the report presents environmental sustainability initiatives and performance data from a range of Group activities covering airline operations, dnata’s cargo and ground handling businesses, and other commercial activities such as engineering and catering.
In a statement, Shaikh Ahmad said 2016-17 was a testing year with a series of social, economic and political events that hit the consumer confidence and travel demand. “Yet our strong track record, business foundation, and brand reputation have stood us in good stead, enabling us to weather these turbulent times,” he said. “Our journey to transform our business will open new opportunities to improve levels of resource efficiency, building up our business resilience to chart a path not just through the year ahead, but for the long-haul.”
With 2017 being the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the Group said it has linked its environmental priorities to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to help it focus better on where it can have the greatest impact.
Operating an eco-efficient fleet, Emirates airline during the year retired the last remaining Airbus A340s and A330s. It now only operates a passenger fleet of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, and together with its Boeing 777 freighters, the average fleet age stands at 5.3 years, well below the industry average, it said in the statement.
A modern wide-body fleet delivers lower engine and noise emissions, and offers customers a higher level of comfort, Emirates Group said.
The Group’s efforts during the year to enhance operational efficiency across the business also helped to reduce costs and its environmental impact.
Dnata marked its most successful and profitable year of operations yet in its 58-year history. Across its four business divisions, UAE airport operations, international airport operations, travel services, and catering, the company won significant new contracts, expanded existing relationships, and continued to win recognition for its quality services, the Group said.
Its ground handling operations in Dubai and around the world have been gradually replacing vehicles and ground service equipment with electric or hybrid equipment, reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
The Group also continued its strong support for action against the illegal trade in wildlife, and through its “A Greener Tomorrow” initiative contributed to three organisations in Africa that are at the forefront of wildlife protection.