On Earth Day, the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) recognizes the work of Latin American and Caribbean airlines in steadily advancing their sustainability goals. ALTA especially highlights the efforts resulting in an annual 2.7% fuel efficiency since 2011, thus managing to prevent the 20.33 million tons of CO2 emissions in this period.

Airlines went from fuel consumption per thousand passenger kilometers (gallons/1,000 RPK) of 12.61 gallons in 2011 to 9.1 gallons in 2023. This is equivalent to:

• Taking 4.6 million cars off the road for 1 year;
• Or to 933 million trees planted;
• Or to CO2 that could be sequestered by 150 km² of mangroves in 1 year;
• Or the amount of CO2 that could be absorbed by roughly 2,000 km² of Amazon rainforest in a year.
• Or neutralize the annual emissions of roughly 10 million Latin Americans. This is equal, for example, to Mexico City ceasing to emit CO2 for 1 year.

“The commitment of the aviation industry to the environment is long-standing and has shown convincing results. Only the achieved fuel efficiency could represent the equivalent of 20 years in operation of one of the largest solar plants in the region, which manages to prevent the 1 million tons of CO2 emissions per year. The efficiencies achieved by the industry are directly translated into better conditions for the users, for the communities and for the environment. So, why not contribute to make the conditions, the context where the industry operates become more efficient so that it can grow with agility and competitiveness”, says José Ricardo Botelho, ALTA’s Executive Director & CEO.

ALTA’s CEO highlights that, in addition to reducing emissions through operational and technological efficiencies, airlines in the region have adopted processes to offset their emissions, in some cases up to 90% of emissions on domestic routes.

“Latin America has one of the most modern fleets in the world, i.e. the most efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft. We fly efficiently and the footprint is really low compared to other regions. The ways to advance sustainability goals cannot be the same for everyone, especially because in this region the income level is lower and the impact of compensation, as well as the costs of acquiring SAF or other initiatives, is higher. We must be extremely careful to recognize the diverse realities that exist so as not to cause irreparable losses in an essential sector,” he comments.

“Aviation is no longer a luxury, as it was a few years ago, but an essential service accessed by over 300 million people per year. We must keep this in mind and work together to advance in a responsible and efficient manner towards sustainability goals”, he stresses.

ALTA participates in the SAF Working Groups in Colombia and Mexico and soon in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. In response to this work, the association has two working committees specialized in the subject, which have new presidents:

Sustainability Committee: Marco Larson, in charge of sustainability, Sky Airline.

Fuels Committee: David Ortiz, Fuel Manager, Aeromexico.

Both committees bring together over 15 airlines seeking to generate expertise, best practices and initiatives that support the industry to advance with agility in sustainability goals.

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