By Emmie V. Abadilla
As the national economy continues to be vibrant, combined with increased capacity and low fares which stimulate demand, Cebu Pacific (CEB) aims to fly 22 million passengers in 2018, versus the 19.7 million passengers it carried last year, according to Lance Gokongwei, President and CEO.
However, the airline intends to be more eco-friendly.
CEB is investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft and in technology that improves flight operation efficiency, to reduce its fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Starting this October, CEB will also replace all non-recyclable plastic spoons, forks, stirrers and cups with sustainable alternatives for its inflight meals and refreshments.
The airline averages 400 flights per day, translating to 18,500 pieces of non-recyclable plastic utensils used daily.
“We want to cut down on our use of non-recyclable plastic to only what is necessary,” he stressed. “And we are continually reviewing our operations to see where and how else we can reduce our impact on the environment.”
The shift to eco-friendly utensils to push for sustainability and reduction of inflight waste will also cover flights mounted by the airline’s subsidiary, Cebgo. From the current plastic spoon and fork, Cebu Pacific will shift to bio-compostable cutlery made from polylactic acid (PLA) derived from corn starch, which is a renewable resource.
This material is molded the same way conventional plastic is, but it breaks down into harmless biomass or organic matter. Plastic cups, on the other hand, would be replaced with biodegradable paper cups; while plastic stirrers for coffee or tea would be changed to compostable wood stirrers.
“We are committed to rolling out more initiatives to help protect our planet and ensure that we operate sustainably,” Gokongwei underscored.
Over the past months, the carrier has invested in technology and other operational measures that help reduce fuel burn and its consequential carbon emissions.
These include a fuel management system that helps optimize operations; the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) cockpit technology for its Airbus fleet, which monitors and calculates optimal runway landing conditions; and Area Navigation (RNAV) data for more accurate navigation and approaches to various airports.