Mango to go carbon neutral

CapeTown - State-owned airline Mango has launched a 10-year plan to become the first carbon neutral airline in Africa.

Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout and Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba made the announcement on a Mango flight to Lanseria on Wednesday night.

“Airlines burn fuel, and contribute approximately 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Bezuidenhout.

“Despite the fact that ongoing economic pressures in aviation may be cause for losing focus, Mango has elected to formally commit itself to sustainability and recognising its responsibility towards managing and mitigating its emissions.”

Mango will initially seek to generate voluntary carbon credits.

The airline is also preparing for an audit process which would measure every aspect of flight operations for its carbon footprint.

“This means that we will commence measurement of all the emissions directly and indirectly related to our primary business activity, air transportation,” said Bezuidenhout.

The airline is also partnering with the South African Mango Grower’s Association and Subtropical Fruit Association to initiate a five-year agricultural development and offset programme.

Wireless internet on all planes

The airline, which is a full subsidiary of South African Airways (SAA), also announced all six of its aircraft now have full onboard wireless internet.

Bezuidenhout said it is critical that airlines think outside the box and take innovative measures to keep costs down and brand value up.

"We've been working over the past two years to make the aircraft lighter to save on fuel. Over the next 18 months we now plan to roll out a fuel efficiency programme that will include further aircraft weight reduction.

"Mango has already removed excess weight from its fleet, including unused equipment such as ashtrays and ovens, and we carry less water on board. This saves on fuel. Winglets already fitted to the aircraft contribute to fuel savings of up to 4%."

The heavier a plane is, the more fuel it uses. Record oil prices are posing tremendous challenges to the industry at the moment.

The airline's results, incorporated with SAA’s results, are expected to be announced soon.

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