The skies are getting greener

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is contributing more to greener skies by further reducing food wastage on board, cutting back on the use of plastics for in-flight items and increasing the use of sustainable ingredients in in-flight meals.
“We are proud to have embarked on a new era of greater sustainability, with an enhanced focus on environmentally responsible practices on board that will significantly reduce our carbon footprint and improve sustainable travel of our customers,” said SIA’s senior vice president customer experience Yeoh Phee Teik.
Cutting down on food waste
SIA currently employs customer surveys, data analytics and staff feedback, and works with its caterers to reduce food wastage after flights.
The airline plans to automate data collection and further leverage technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to better predict customers’ consumption patterns and further reduce cabin food waste.
Through an improved monitoring system of customers’ consumption patterns and data analytics, SIA will be able to better adjust the quantities of certain food items uplifted to minimise wastage without compromising on customer service.
Reducing use of plastics in-flight through alternative sustainable materials
SIA is also committed to reducing the use of single-use plastics with alternative sustainable materials for more in-flight items.
The airline aims to become entirely plastic straw-free by September 2019. Since September 2018, SIA has removed all plastic straws on board, apart from children’s straws. The latter will be substituted with environmentally friendly paper straws. These changes will reduce about 820,000 plastic straws each year. The airline also has plans to replace its current plastic swizzle sticks with wood-based ones by September 2019.
From May 2019, SIA will also be replacing polybags from children’s toys with recyclable paper packaging.
Several of the airline’s paper products, such as menu cards, tissue paper and toilet rolls, are made with FSC-certified paper, which have been sourced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
Other upcoming green initiatives include the printing of children’s colouring books and activity kits using eco-friendly soy-based ink.
Sustainable food sourcing
Expanding on the airline’s ‘From Farm to Plane’ concept introduced in 2017, which promotes environmental sustainability and supports local farming communities, SIA will be embarking on an exciting new collaboration with AeroFarms, the world’s largest indoor vertical farm of its kind based in Newark, United States.
Produce at AeroFarms is grown indoors without soil, pesticides or sunlight, using AeroFarms’ award-winning aeroponic technology.
“As vertical farms are not weather dependent but operate under a controlled environment, crops can be grown year-round, thereby increasing the amount of sustainable produce to support more of the Airline’s needs,” Mr Yeoh said.
Aerofarms will provide a customised blend of fresh produce for SIA’s Newark to Singapore flights from September 2019.
“Imagine boarding a plane and enjoying a salad harvested only a few hours before take-off – literally the world’s freshest airline food,” said SIA’s food & beverage director Antony McNeil.
SIA through its catering partner SATS currently sources certain types of produce from two local farms for flights departing Singapore. It plans to work with SATS to identify local vertical farms to work with.
Other ingredients obtained from sustainable sources include selected locally farmed fish from fisheries that are certified by Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP).

‘Thrucool’ launched for pharmaceutical shipments

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced the launch of Thrucool, a new service to transport high-value, time-sensitive and temperature-controlled pharmaceutical cargo.
Thrucoolis a set of dedicated cold chain services to safeguard the integrity of pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments during air transport. These include priority uplift and handling, quick ramp transfers at airports, cold room facilities, as well as thermal blankets and covers for crucial insulation from external factors. Customers can also opt to place shipments in temperature-controlled containers, and track their location during shipping.
SIA has partnered with terminal operators SATS, Cargologic and Qantas Freight to launch a ‘quality corridor’ along the Zurich-Singapore-Sydney route as an initial service. Complying with standards adopted from the IATA CEIV Pharma1 program, the quality corridor addresses the industry’s need for safety, care and efficiency in the transport of pharmaceutical and healthcare products. This reduces the potential for product loss attributed to handling and environmental factors such as temperature excursions during carriage.
 

Sydney Airport curfew to stay, says Albanese

A380 at Sydney Airport

While airlines are calling for abolition of a curfew at Sydney Airport, federal transport minister Anthony Albanese said it is off the agenda. 

Qantas and Singapore Airlines have been lobbying the Federal Government to loosen operation regulations, saying the current cap of 80 flights per hour and the 11pm to 6am curfew are limiting growth at the air hub, the AAP reported.

 
They said quieter planes would allow the night curfew to be abolished and landing of the jets should be permitted.
 
If no change was made to scrap the limitations, the region would require another airport to handle increasing traffic, Qantas said in its submission to the Government.

But federal transport minister Anthony Albanese rebuffed the proposal, saying the regulations are not up for negotiations as they strike the right balance for communities in the vicinity of the airport.

 
“The curfew and cap…strike a balance between the commercial interest of airlines and the airport with the interest of those people who live around Sydney Airport,” he told the ABC Radio.

“The curfew and the cap are legislated and they are not up for negotiation.

“No government is likely to shift on either the curfew or the cap, it has bipartisan support in the commonwealth parliament and I can’t see that changing.”

 

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