Earlier today, Prince Charles, The Prince Of Wales, was in Cardiff. Following the Queen’s visit to British Airways’ Waterside HQ last year, her son visited the airline’s heavy maintenance base. Here, CEO Alex Cruz led the prince on a tour of a Boeing 787, showcasing the airline’s commitment to sustainability.
It’s not every day that an airline hosts a royal visit. However, British Airways has experienced two such days across the past year. Last May, Queen Elizabeth II visited the airline’s head office to help celebrate its 100th birthday. Today, Prince Charles visited the airline’s Cardiff maintenance base to see its sustainability plans. This was his second time at the facility. In fact, Prince Charles opened the site 26 years ago.
What was Prince Charles shown?
Prince Charles was led on a tour of a Boeing 787 by the British Airways CEO, Alex Cruz. Here, the airline’s CEO showed the prince how the airline is implementing changes to its operations. These changes are designed with the airline’s environmental impact in mind.
Most of the changes are angled at cutting the airline’s CO2 emissions, or its dependence on single-use plastics. For example, one innovation, which Simple Flying previously discovered on a cabin crew training day, sees first-class duvets being made from recycled plastic.
The airline has implemented four changes to date aimed at driving down CO2 emissions. This includes saving weight. British Airways is cutting weight by installing lighter seats on aircraft while introducing lighter catering trolleys.
Meanwhile, the airline has also implemented a couple of procedural changes to save weight. Short-haul flights now taxi to the runway using just one engine. Additionally, the airline is retracting landing lights on its A320 fleet earlier.
Finally, in order to cut down on its single-use plastic dependence, the airline is looking at replacements. Bedding is now wrapped in paper bands, meanwhile, plastic drinks stirrers have been replaced by bamboo.
Prince Charles was shown around one of the airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners registered a G-ZBKA. The aircraft was delivered four and a half years ago to the carrier. More recently it flew the England rugby team to Japan for the Rugby World Cup last year.
While the tour was led by Alex Cruz, he did get some help from others. A group of British Airways apprentices showed the prince inside one of the aircraft’s Trent 1000 engines. Meanwhile, a member of British Airways’ cabin crew led the prince around the inside of the aircraft.
Commenting on the tour British Airways CEO, Alex Cruz, said,
“It has been an honour to showcase our work in this area to His Royal Highness today… We’ve got a lot of work to do, but keeping an eye on the detail as well as the bigger picture is the only way to get there.”
Finally, before leaving, Prince Charles unveiled a plaque, which had been created from old aircraft parts, to commemorate his visit.
What do you make of the Royal visit? Were you lucky enough to witness it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!