FORT WORTH, Texas — Air Transport World (ATW), the leading media brand serving the information needs of the global airline and commercial air transport communities, announced today American Airlines was named the 2023 Eco-Airline of the Year.
The award marks the latest recognition of American’s progress toward its ambitious sustainability goals.
“American is actively incorporating sustainability at every level of our business, from the fuel we buy to the food we serve our customers,” American CEO Robert Isom said. “And our all-the-above approach is just getting started. As Eco-Airline of the Year, we will continue to lead the industry as an innovator in this space and affirm our unyielding commitment to build an American Airlines that will thrive forever.”
With the airline’s most extensive fleet renewal effort in industry history and substantial investments in fuel of the future, ATW highly regarded American’s work to run a more fuel-efficient operation with more fuel-efficient aircraft powered increasingly by low-carbon fuel and new technology.
Fuel-efficiency is maximized by a new application called smart gating, which optimizes gate assignments at congested airports. Smart gating is currently in use at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Miami International Airport and saves an estimated 1.4 million gallons of fuel and 13,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Ongoing fleet renewal efforts have also helped the airline improve fuel efficiency by more than 10% since 2013, which has helped save 1.9 billion gallons of fuel and prevented 19 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Today, half of American’s U.S. mainline fleet is less than 10 years old.
Leading the industry in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) consumption, the world’s largest airline used 2 million gallons of SAF in 2022 and doubled its usage year over year. SAF agreements with Gevo, Inc., Neste and Aemetis bring the airline’s total low-carbon fuel commitments to more than 620 million gallons. American is also the first U.S. airline to make two direct investments focused on the development of both hydrogen-electric propulsion technology and the future of hydrogen distribution logistics.
American was the first airline in the world to receive validation from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its intermediate carbon emissions reduction goal. American’s science-based target is to reduce its carbon intensity by 45% by 2035, compared to a 2019 baseline.
The airline also appeared on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index in 2022 for the second year in a row, improving its score by more than 20% year over year.
Selected by a panel of editors and analysts at ATW, Routes, Aviation Week and CAPA, the ATW Airline Industry Achievement Awards recognize excellence across a broad range of airline operations and is a coveted accomplishment in the air transport industry.
“At a time when sustainability is a driving force in the aviation industry, American Airlines has a clear vision for the future of sustainable aviation and is making meaningful strides to reach their goals. With a comprehensive carbon emissions reduction strategy that touches nearly every part of their company, awarding Eco-Airline of the Year to American is incredibly well-deserved in what was the most competitive field yet,” said ATW Editor-in-Chief Karen Walker.