US$130 billion fleet re-equipment progamme is cornerstone of oneworld airlines' commitment to the environment

10 April 2008

As the cornerstone of their commitment to minimise their impact on the environment, airlines in the oneworld® alliance are currently in the midst of modernising their fleets with the delivery of almost 1 200 of the latest, most fuel efficient and quietest aircraft, worth almost US$130 billion.

Since the year 2000, they have taken delivery of 590 of these more environmentally friendly aircraft, worth in excess of US$50 billion, with outstanding orders for another 580 for delivery in the coming years, worth more than US$75 billion. Environmental performance is a key factor in each oneworld members' selection of new aircraft.

These new aircraft, and a host of other measures, have helped the alliance's carriers improve their fuel efficiency markedly in the past decade - and will play a key part in enabling them to meet their stretching targets for further fuel efficiency in future years, of up to 25 per cent by 2025, while reducing noise and other environmental impacts.

Each airline in oneworld has its own comprehensive programme for minimising its impact on the environment - programmes which are widely recognised as being among the most responsible and progressive in an industry which on a total global basis generates less than 2 per cent of the world's total emissions of greenhouse gases.

Besides their fleet modernisation programmes, steps taken by airlines in the alliance include:

  • Reducing the weight of their aircraft so they burn less fuel and create less noise - to the extent of, for example, trimming just 2 gm of the weight of each spoon in the case of Japan Airlines.
  • Offering passengers the ability to offset the carbon emissions produced by their flights by making donations to abatement programmes (British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and Qantas).
  • Installing experimental wind turbines to generate electricity for office lighting (Cathay Pacific).
  • Recycling paper, plastic, aluminum, glass and even wine bottle corks.
  • More stringent aircraft and engine cleaning procedures, to reduce drag, improve efficiency and therefore fuel consumption.

They are also all active participants and supporters of environmental activities co-ordinated by the international industry bodies - globally by IATA (the International Air Transport Association) and regionally by the Association of European Airlines, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, the USA's Air Transport Association and the counterparts elsewhere.

With its member airlines already working on environmental programmes on these three levels - globally through IATA, regionally through the regional airline associations and individually - they have elected not to add a fourth level in the form of an alliance environmental programme, believing this would simply duplicate, fragment and reduce their focus on their existing extensive environmental activities.

oneworld does, however, makes a contribution to each of their environmental efforts. For instance, oneworld in April 2005 became the first global airline grouping to enable passengers to connect between flights operated by any member airline using electronic tickets only - eradicating each year millions of traditional paper tickets which were thrown away after use.

Also, oneworld airlines are individually and collectively working with authorities responsible for airports and air traffic control (ATC) to address the single largest cause of fuel wastage in the industry - inefficient management of air traffic space.

oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: "oneworld and our member airlines are all determined to do everything we can to care for the world we serve with vital transport links.

"Airlines connect people, places and cultures and help keep commerce in business. We're proud of that. But we recognise that the freedom air travel brings has an impact. That is why oneworld airlines are leading the industry in minimising the environmental effects of air travel."

A summary of the key steps taken by each airline in the alliance in their environmental programmes is given in a new fact sheet posted on the alliance's website. See




All aircraft values are based on manufacturers' list prices.


About oneworld


oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and 20 of their affiliates. Mexicana is a member elect and will join the alliance in 2009.

The alliance enables these airlines to offer their customers more services and benefits than any carrier can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges.

oneworld is the only airline alliance with a truly global network, as the only grouping with any member airlines in South America, in the Middle East and in Australia.

oneworld's airlines serves some 700 destinations in almost 150 countries with approaching 9 500 departures a day operated by a combined fleet of some 2 500 aircraft, carrying 320 million passengers and earning total revenues of more than US$90 billion a year.


oneworld was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the fifth year running in the latest World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by some 170 000 travel professionals, including more than 110 000 travel agents in 200 countries.