VIDEO: British Airways shows Prince Charles its sustainability efforts


HRH The Prince of Wales has toured British Airways’ engineering base in Cardiff, seeing how the airline is working towards more sustainable flying.

In front of more than 400 BA staff, His Royal Highness was shown the airline’s nose-to-tail focus on sustainability.

Prince visits BA’s Cardiff base

From the heavy-weight investments in new fuel-efficient aircraft, to the smallest detail of using a light-weight solder in aircraft repairs, BA showcased how it is bringing down the carbon footprint of each journey.

BA said it’s forensically assessing its operations to find little changes which add up to a big change of direction.

So far they have included the following:

  • Each First-Class duvet is now made from 19 recycled plastic bottles
  • Replacing seats on short-haul aircraft with new lighter weight versions saves 9,100 tonnes of CO2 per year. That’s equivalent to more than 350 return flights from London to Berlin
  • We now taxi to the runway using a single engine taxi on short haul flights, saving 3,700 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to more than 100 return flights from London to Madrid
  • Our lighter cabin trolleys save 5,000 tonnes of CO2 per year; that’s a saving equivalent to more than 300 return flights from London to Paris
  • We now retract our landing lights earlier on our A320 fleet, burning less fuel and saving 8,000 tonnes of CO2 per year; a saving equivalent to 150 return flights from London to Athens
  • We have replaced plastic swizzle sticks with bamboo versions, saving 45 tonnes of plastic per year
  • The plastic wraps on bedding have been replaced by paper bands. That adds up to more than 19 million pieces of plastic which have been removed

His Royal Highness was shown around a Boeing 787-9, one of the world’s most efficient aircraft. The airline is investing in a further 73 fuel-efficient and quieter aircraft to arrive before 2024.

Household waste to aviation fuel

Apprentices who work at British Airways Maintenance, Cardiff showed off the inside of the aircraft’s engine. They explained that work has now started on a project to convert household waste into sustainable aviation fuel.

And on board the aircraft, he saw how many single use plastics were being replaced by sustainable alternatives.

On board: Prince Charles is shown BA’s sustainable cabins.

As the event came to a close, HRH unveiled a plaque created from recycled aircraft parts to mark the visit.

British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, Alex Cruz, led the tour with Prince Charles.

“It has been an honour to showcase our work in this area to His Royal Highness today”, Cruz said.

“Every decision we make at British Airways now starts with a simple question: what does that mean for our sustainability aspiration?

Offsetting emissions

“We’re now offsetting carbon emissions on all our flights within the UK; and were the first airline group to commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“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.”

Louise Evans, Director of Communications & Corporate Responsibility said: “From new, quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft to sustainable swizzle sticks that eliminate the use of single use plastic, we’re carrying out a huge transformation of the way we fly.

“His Royal Highness opened this engineering base 26 years ago, and we were delighted to welcome him back to our engineering base here in Cardiff so he can see for himself the steps we are taking to a sustainable future.”