October 13, 2022

Fiji, an island nation in the South Pacific, has been severely impacted by climate change.

Destructive waves of cyclones have wiped out entire villages, uprooting communities and derailing the nation’s economy.

Further, saltwater intrusion from coastal flooding has destroyed farmland, disrupted the supply of staples in the Fijian economy, and forced communities to migrate to safer ground.

It has been estimated that the damages sustained to Viti Levu, Fiji’s most populous island, total some $52 million per year, or over 4 percent of Fiji’s GDP.

Tourism is also one of Fiji’s largest industries. Since it contributes nearly 38% to the GDP and provides over 118,000 jobs, having a sustainability strategy for the industry is essential.

Moreover, air travel is a major contributor to the industry.

As a result, the nation’s flag carrier Fiji Airways takes sustainability very seriously. It defines the conservation of nature and natural resources as its underlying strategy to achieve a sustainable future.

In this episode of our ‘Sustainability in the Air’ podcast, Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen speaks with SimpliFlying CEO, Shashank Nigam, and shares how the airline’s conservation programs are helping reduce the carbon footprint and preserve Fiji’s natural resources.

Listen and subscribe to the podcast now by clicking here.

Recently we released our next-generation aircraft report. One of the companies featured is Ampaire. To read more about Ampaire and other similar companies click here.

Los Angeles-based Ampaire holds the record for a non-stop flight of a hybrid-electric aircraft by flying between Mojave, California, and Hays, Kansas, a 1135-mile route.

Initially, it is looking at retrofitting existing aircraft with a hybrid-electric powertrain, made by Electric Power Systems.

First to come into service will be Ampaire’s “Eco Caravan”, an eleven-seat Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, which can achieve a 90% reduction in emissions if SAF is used.

Customers include WingTips, a California aerial mobility provider, which has announced a firm order for five Eco Caravans, with options for 20 more, and eventual expansion plans to have a fleet of 175 of these aircraft.

WingTips plans to use these new aircraft on regional routes of 100 to 400 miles, flying mainly from general aviation airports.

Like other electric and hybrid-electric aircraft, Ampaire offers operators considerable cost savings, compared to conventional aircraft. Total operating cost reduction ranges from 25 to 40 percent, depending on route structure.

The aircraft can operate independently of ground charging infrastructure by recharging the batteries in-flight when desired, as with hybrid-electric cars today.

Eventually, Ampaire intends to manufacture its own aircraft, the ‘Tailwind’, which will be fully electric.

(Above image via Ampaire)

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The Future Is Here: Delta Air Lines Partners With Joby Aviation On Air Taxis To And From The Airport (Travel Noire)

Missed our UAM Report? Joby was one of the companies we featured, read it here

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