Malaysia Airlines Wants To Have Net Zero Emissions By 2050

Malaysia Airlines has said that it wants to have zero net emissions by 2050. In a statement released on April 12, Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), the parent company of Malaysia Airlines, said it was launching its MAG Sustainability Blueprint, aimed to promote socio-economic development and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A350
Malaysia Airlines operates an Airbus A350 on its KUL-LHR route. Photo: Getty Images

In its goal to become Asia’s leading travel and aviation services, group MAG seeks to integrate sustainability through minimizing environmental impacts. When speaking about the group’s goals in the statement, MAG’s Group Chief Executive Officer Captain Izham Ismail said:

“As we look forward and seek to create a brighter future for the national aviation services group, we have to be conscious and work towards creating a future that also elevates and protects the communities we are present in.

“In the long run, our sustainability initiatives will drive us to be a more responsible, efficient, and effective organization, with the character and mindset to be environmentally responsible, the leadership to empower and develop our workforce expertise, the responsibility to spearhead safety leadership, the experience to go above and beyond compliance, and the ingenuity to maintain and grow profitability and resilience.

“Together we will create a greener world, to ensure the lives we touch may continue to flourish, and actively play our role as the national carrier and helping the nation fly ever higher.”

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Airbus A350 on the KUL-LHR route

Innovative measures are already yielding positive results, as can be seen with the deployment of a Malaysia Airlines Airbus A350 on the Kuala Lumpur to London route. Due to London Heathrow Airports’ long runway, pilots use idle reverse power to stop the aircraft. Doing this allows for 18 kilograms of fuel to be saved per landing, which amounts to a monthly saving of 3,420 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

Along with this, pilots only use one engine while taxiing after landing, which saves a further 50 kilograms of fuel and is the equivalent of 158 kilograms of carbon dioxide per flight. Malaysia Airlines is also exploring electric ground vehicles for the pushback of aircraft and other airport-related services.

Lufthansa tug electric
Malaysia Airlines wants to use electric vehicles for aircraft pushback. Photo: Getty Images

Currently, Malaysia Airlines is working on 66 initiatives across 23 sustainability matters focused on six key elements:

  • Economic
  • Governance
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Environmental
  • Social

Recycling old products for new uses

The group is undertaking what it calls a “sub-cycling process” where old leather seats, life vests, and uniforms are repurposed into handbags, aprons, and bags for toiletries. When speaking to UK travel trade magazine, Travel Weekly, Malaysia Airlines UK, and Europe regional manager, Daniel Bainbridge said:

“We recognize that customers are increasingly looking to purchase from brands that lead the way in Sustainability; therefore, Sustainability needs to be at the forefront of our decision-making process, in delivering both socially responsible and environmentally focussed business practices.

“The sustainability blueprint introduced sets the direction for our business to make a notable and tangible difference.

“Championing sustainability is of the utmost importance to Malaysia Airlines and will continue to remain so as we look forward to welcoming customers back with our warm Malaysian hospitality once travel restrictions ease.”

Biodegradable fuel and recycling

With an eye to the future, Malaysia Airlines plans to reduce its overall carbon emissions by 25 million kilograms in 2021. To achieve this it will use biodegradable materials for 50% of its in-flight operations together with 50% of the ground and in-flight waste recycled and up-cycled by 2025 onwards.

Malaysia Airlines wants to use 50% biofuel. Photo: Getty Images

While all the things mentioned above make sense and sound as if Malaysia Airlines is doing as much as it can to be greener, there is still a long way to go when it comes to cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

What do you think about Malaysia Airlines’ plan to be greener? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.