NatureAir's carbon neutral aviation programme wins prestigious world travel and tourism award
Mon 18 May 2009 – The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has named Costa Rica-based Natureair the winner of its 2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Conservation Award. The airline was selected for its carbon neutral programme that engages customers in a non-voluntary carbon offset scheme, and its commitment to fuel reduction in the air and on the ground. The programme funds the protection and reforestation of the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica. NatureAir has developed the country’s only biodiesel refuelling station, which is used to run its entire ground operations equipment and vehicles.
“The environment is precious and we are thrilled to receive this wonderful recognition by WTTC for our conservation efforts,” said Alex Khajavi, founder and CEO of NatureAir. “This award is a motivator for all of us at NatureAir to continue searching for ways which add a positive value to the social and environmental challenges we face.”
Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC President and CEO, in announcing the award in Florianópolis, Brazil, at the 9th Global Travel & Tourism Summit, said: “In 2004, NatureAir made a highly ambitious pledge to set new standards for sustainable practices in the airline industry, compensating for 100% of its greenhouse gas emissions through the preservation and reforestation of tropical forests in the Osa Peninsula. And it has not only fulfilled this pledge, but has also implemented a whole host of other effective sustainable policies and activities, including community benefit outreach programmes.”
NatureAir claims to be the world’s first carbon neutral airline and the fastest growing regional airline in Central America. Since its inception in 2000, the airline has grown from flying 18,000 passengers annually to more than 140,000 in 2008. It is the only twin-engine airline in Costa Rica with both scheduled and chartered flights, and offers 74 daily flights to 17 destinations in Costa Rica and Panama.