Air Transport World (ATW) Magazine is shining a sustainability spotlight on the airline industry. The trade magazine has announced the winners of the first-ever Eco-Aviation Awards, including the naming of Southwest Airlines as the Eco-Pioneer of the Year. Since its inception, Southwest Airlines has always done things differently and so it is no surprise that the airline is being recognized for its pioneering ways in the sustainable air travel arena.


One of Southwest Airlines’ eco-minded achievements is the diversion of more than 7,300 tons of waste from landfills since August 2008. To put this into perspective, 7,300 tons is equivalent to the weight of 173 Boeing 737-300 jets. The airline is also being applauded for a new eco-friendly and cost-efficient cabin interior – Evolve.


Evolve cabins feature seats made out of an eco-friendly leather alternative material, InterfaceFLOR carpet and netted seatback pockets for more legroom. Southwest expects that the Evolve interior will be available across its entire fleet sometime next year.


Southwest Airlines wasn’t the only airline that received an ATW Magazine Eco-Aviation Award. Lufthansa Group received the Eco-Airline of the Year Gold Award for its efforts to reduce fuel consumption and emissions both on air and in the ground.


FedEx Express received the Eco-Airline of the Year Silver Award due in part to the company’s EarthSmart program. The shipping company works to optimize flight pans, has solar power installations at ground facilities and even has a green roof at one ground location.


The remaining Eco-Aviation Award Winners include:


  • Eco-Airport of the Year – Dallas/Fort Worth International
  • Eco-Partnership of the Year – Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest (SAFN) project
  • Eco-Technology of the Year – Pratt & Whitney

All of the winners will be officially recognized during an awards ceremony at the ATW’s 5th Annual Eco-Aviation Conference in Crystal City, Virginia next month.

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