Flying Towards a More Sustainable Future: We're Honored as 'Eco-Airline of the Year' - United Hub
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Flying towards a more sustainable future

By The Hub team, January 24, 2017

For the second time since launching our industry-leading Eco-Skies program, we were named the Eco-Airline of the Year by Air Transport World (ATW) magazine. The award recognizes an airline in global commercial aviation for its environmental leadership as demonstrated by consistent and impactful environmental action within the company and in the industry. The magazine awarded us with the top honor for multiple initiatives in 2016 and prior years, including becoming the first U.S. airline to begin using commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel for regularly scheduled flights, marking a significant milestone in the industry by moving beyond demonstrations and test programs to the use of low-carbon biofuels for ongoing operations.

"Innovation and sustainability are twin engines that drive our progress as the most environmentally conscious airline in the world," said Oscar Munoz, United's chief executive officer. "From pioneering investments in biofuels to increasing efficiency and reducing waste to supporting a single global market based measure for carbon emissions, United is committed to innovating solutions that we hope will become the expectation for our industry, not the exception. And while we take great pride in this important recognition for our efforts, the measure of our success is the opinion of our children and grandchildren who will look back on our efforts and say that we lived up to our obligations to them in protecting the planet for future generations."

The Eco-Skies program represents our company's commitment to the environment and the actions taken every day to create a sustainable future. In addition to incorporating sustainable biofuel into our operations at Los Angeles, our recent environmental achievements include:

  • Investing $30 million in U.S.-based alternative aviation fuels developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., which represented the single largest investment by any airline globally in alternative fuels.
  • Becoming the first U.S. airline to repurpose items from the carrier's international premium cabin amenity kits and partnering with Clean the World to donate hygiene products to those in critical need.
  • Partnering with the Federal Aviation Administration to demonstrate the potential benefits of new satellite-based technology for instrument landings that enable aircraft to use fuel more efficiently on arrival and land at normal rates in challenging weather.
  • Continuing to replace its eligible ground equipment and service vehicles with cleaner, electrically powered alternatives, with 47 percent of the fleet converted to date.
  • Becoming the first airline to fly with Boeing's Split Scimitar winglets, which reduce fuel consumption by up to 2 percent; United is the largest Split Scimitar winglet customer today.
  • Being the only U.S.-based airline named to the Carbon Disclosure Project's "Leadership" category for its environmental disclosure, with an A- Climate score in 2016.
  • Sourcing illy coffee's internationally-certified supply chain of farmers who earn above-market prices in exchange for meeting quality and sustainability standards for the finest coffee.
  • Offering Eco-Skies CarbonChoice, the airline industry's only integrated carbon offset program for corporate business travel and cargo shipments.

Additionally, as part of our commitment to operating an environmentally friendly and responsible airline, the carrier added a carbon footprint measurement to our 2017 Global Performance Commitment. We are committed to achieving a lower gross carbon footprint than our two largest U.S.-based competitors this year, as measured by carbon dioxide-equivalent per available seat-mile. If we do not meet the goals of our 2017 Global Performance Commitment, we will compensate eligible corporate accounts.

For more information on our Eco-Skies commitment to the environment, visit www.united.com/ecoskies.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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