The first plastic-free flight in the world

Hi Fly took sustainability in travel to a whole new level

Hi Fly, a Portuguese air carrier, claims they can “no longer ignore” the impact the single-use material have on the environment, and plans to be fully plastic-free on all flights by 2020. It served passengers only with compostable materials in cups, silverware, and containers in 4 flights last December.

Hi Fly first plastic free flight

Among the scores of single-use plastic items that have been replaced are: cups, spoons, salt and pepper shakers, sick bags, packaging for bedding, dishes, individual butter pots, soft drink bottles and toothbrushes. Hi Fly environmental experts used, instead, bamboo cutlery, an array of paper packaging, and containers that, once used, can be readily composted.

The plastic-free trial (involving a total of four flights by Hi Fly’s wide-body Airbus A340) was on a route from Lisbon to Natal, in Brazil. A week later the group flew back to Lisbon. In total 700 passengers took part in the trial.

Plastic free flight Hi Fly

“This historic Hi Fly flight, without any single-use plastic items on board, underlines our commitment to making Hi Fly the world’s first ‘plastics-free’ airline within 12 months. We take that commitment very seriously”, the company’s president Paulo Mirpuri said in a statement.

The test flights prevented around 350kg of plastics from poisoning the environment. “Over 100,000 flights take off each day around the world and, last year, commercial aircraft carried nearly four billion passengers. This number is expected to double again in less than 20 years. So, the potential to make a difference here is clearly enormous”, Mr. Mirpuri said.

These flights will help the company test substitute items developed in a real-world environment. The company states that the feedback received from client airlines and passengers shows “that’s the right thing for the airline to do”. It’s all about travel sustainability.

Pedro Ramos, the Director-General of Tour operator Alto Astral, the company who chartered the flights between Lisbon and Brazil, spoke of his company’s delight at being a participant in this event.

“Everyone at Alto Astral is excited to be involved in this adventure and we believe that future generations will thank those of us who have been prepared to stand up to try to make a difference now”.

Hi Fly is a Portuguese charter airline that operate with 8 aircrafts and no scheduled destinations. It has specialized in worldwide aircraft lease services on medium to long term contracts for airlines, tour operators, governments, companies and individuals.