Flocking Together - United Hub

Flocking together

By The Hub team

If you look up at the sky often enough in and around the cities that United® serves, you're likely to spot them: graceful bodies with wings extended, soaring as silhouettes against the clouds.

But we're not talking about our planes. Raptors — birds of prey such as hawks, owls and kestrels — also call these places home, and many times their migration puts them dangerously close to our airports, increasing the potential for bird strikes to aircraft.

"We've found that most of these birds are young and may not realize that the airport can be a dangerous place for them," said Jeff Kolodzinski, senior wildlife biologist for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Together with the Port Authority and Audubon International, we launched the Raptor Relocation Program at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), which aims to move these birds to safer habitats where they are likely to flourish. It's an innovative way to protect the environment and offer sanctuary for birds of prey.

"The Raptor Relocation Program has successfully relocated multiple American Kestrels — a threatened species — amongst other raptors and has helped minimize risk to wildlife, reduce damage to aircraft and enable us to operate more efficiently within some of the world's busiest airspace," said Aaron Stash, environmental strategy and sustainability manager at United.

The raptors are taken in when they're found near runways or taxiways and relocated shortly thereafter.

"Relocation sites are chosen that mimic the natural habitats where the birds would normally be found," Kolodzinski said. "In this case, we're looking for open grassland-type habitats that have food sources, like insects, small birds, and small mammals, and cover for the birds."

In this case, those safer habitats are golf courses — located as far as 75 to 100 miles from EWR — that Audubon International has certified within their Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. Going forward, the program will also help the Port Authority establish raptor relocation at other airports in the area.

So far, 77 birds have been moved to safer homes as a result of the program. This includes several American kestrels — a threatened species in New Jersey. While it's hard to track how the birds are doing, each one wears a lightweight aluminum band for identification.

"We occasionally get sightings of our birds and all indications are that the birds are doing well," Kolodzinski said.

United cargo-only flights transport critical goods

By The Hub team

When the pandemic began, United Cargo knew it would be critical to utilize its fleet, network and industry-leading pharmaceutical handling processes to transport a COVID-19 vaccine when the time came.

Connecting vaccines to the world: United responds to mass distribution effort

December 22, 2020

On November 27, United Airlines became the first commercial airline to safely deliver the first batch of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine into the U.S. thanks to a coordinated effort between United's cargo, safety, technical operations, flight operations, regulatory and legal teams.

Now as the entire shipping and logistics industry bands together to widely distribute vaccines, United is leveraging all of its flights, including cargo-only and those carrying passengers, to transport millions of vaccines to destinations throughout our network, including Honolulu, Guam and Saipan – the first of any carrier to do so.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Airline and its customers use crowdsourcing platform - Miles on a Mission - to donate more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care
By United Newsroom, December 01, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United is inviting MileagePlus members to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season by donating miles to nearly 40 non-profits through United Airlines' crowdsourcing platform, Miles on a Mission. Non-profits like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care are attempting to raise a total of more than 11 million miles to be used for travel for life-saving health care, continued education, humanitarian aid and more. United will match the first 125,000 miles raised for each of these organizations to help ensure they meet their goals.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Why we fly

By The Hub team, November 27, 2020

In October 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind airline miles donation platform, Miles on a Mission. In the inaugural year, MileagePlus members donated over 70 million miles, with United matching over 20 million miles, to 51 organizations. These miles have allowed for these organizations to do important, life-changing, life-saving work in the communities we serve around the globe.

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