Xiamen Air Chairman Zhao Dong addresses APEX 40th anniversary celebration in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES- XiamenAir Chairman Zhao Dong addressed the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) Association’s 40th anniversary celebration, running from September 9 until September 12, in Los Angeles. Chairman Zhao Dong spoke at the invitation of the United Nations (UN), outlining four effort areas XiamenAir is advancing to realize the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Chairman Zhao Dong spoke at the thought leadership conference, sharing XiamenAir’s exploration of sustainable development with industry leaders jointly discussing the sustainable development direction of the aviation industry.

First Airline to Support UN SDGs in the World

XiamenAir has embarked on a scientific and healthy path of sustainable development in the past 35 years since its establishment. During his visit to the United States in 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke highly of XiamenAir as the “Epitome of the development of China’s aviation industry“, Chairman Zhao Dong said during his prepared remarks earlier today.

“XiamenAir has never forgotten its social responsibility on the path to development. More than two years ago, we reached friendly cooperation with the UN at its New York headquarters, becoming the first airline in the world to commit to supporting the UN SDGs. This commitment represents XiamenAir’s determination to share the same future with people around the world,” Chairman Zhao Dong stated.

As further evidence of XiamenAir’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and fostering a legacy of a healthier environment, Chairman Zhao Dong hailed XiamenAir’s “United Dream” aircraft, the world’s first such aircraft with UN SDG markings. The aircraft’s United Dream namesake was the result of a global vote of Internet users. United Dream embarks on special themed flights to call international attention to realizing SDGs. XiamenAir’s past several installments of themed flights have received 750 million views, and the Weibo page view on “United Dream” related topics alone reached 70.8 million views. XiamenAir expects to carry 100 million passengers annually by 2030, as the airline continues promoting the UN’s SDGs.

XiamenAir also organized a study on the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and issued the “XiamenAir’s Sustainable Development Program,” integrating the company’s sustainable development philosophy into enterprise strategy, operation, and management. The initiative combines China’s five major development concepts of “innovation, coordination, greenness, openness and sharing” with the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Ninety-five sub-projects will be launched from four aspects of ‘continuous safety, low-carbon operation, green service, and shared benefits, toplan a holistic path for XiamenAir’s sustainable development.

Chairman Zhao Dong also highlighted XiamenAir’s continued focus on safety, as the airline’s “the first quality,” sharing the fact that, in terms of continuous safety, the reliability of XiamenAir’s main fleet is up to 99.9 percent.

XiamenAir also established a traceability system for food safety and became the first airline in China’s civil aviation industry to obtain the FSSC22000 and ISO22000 dual system certification.

“Without question, safety is our number one priority and the most important metric on quality. The reliability of the main fleet is as high as 99.9 percent, ranking us first in the world. XiamenAir is also building a traceable food safety system, becoming the first in Chinese civil aviation industry to obtain the prestigious FSSC22000 and ISO22000 certifications (standards for food safety management systems registration that can be certified by an accredited body),” Chairman Zhao Dong said.

Take on the Mission of Carbon Reduction

In speaking to the need for airlines to curb carbon emissions, Chairman Zhao Dong stated, “Carbon emission is undoubtedly one of the unavoidable challenges in the process of sustainable development for airline companies. We have been actively involving ourselves in low-carbon operation, and currently, have taken up to 70 measures for energy conservation and emission reduction a year. With an average age of 5.7 years, our fleet is one of the youngest fleets in the world. We have also introduced more models that are new with outstanding fuel efficiency in recent years. Over the past five years, our fuel consumption per ton kilometer has dropped by 14.8 percent, which is superior to the global average level of fuel efficiency improvement, achieving our commitment of ‘annual emission reduction of 300,000 tons’ to the United Nations.”

In the furtherance of green services, XiamenAir has also created “green cabins” providing bamboo pulp tissues for passengers and is exploring the use of more biodegradable and environmentally friendly cabin supplies to gradually replace the existing cabin supplies, e.g., bamboo pulp paper cups/meal boxes instead of plastic cups/meal boxes. Also, XiamenAir offers “green libraries” in the air, introducing digital reading into cabins, thus reducing paper books while enriching the flight experience for passengers.

“We have been actively involving ourselves in low-carbon operation, and currently, have taken up to 70 measures for energy conservation and emission reduction a year. With an average age of 5.7 years, our fleet is one of the youngest fleets in the world. Furthermore, to make it easier for passengers to travel around the world, we promote green service, advocate green travel, and drive the establishment of a whole-process ground self-service system, including self-check-in, self-baggage drop, facial-recognition to board, and other electronic service items. We will enable 80 percent of passengers to enjoy intelligent and convenient whole-process self-service by 2020,” Chairman Zhao Dong said.

Benefits Sharing

In terms of shared benefits, in addition to the aforementioned educational support for children in poverty-stricken areas, XiamenAir also invests in various poverty alleviation works, including not only direct cash donations but also “purchase instead of donation,” and “buying instead of helping.” After conducting field visits to several poor areas, the airline developed various products that meet the requirements of XiamenAir and are marketable, including fungi, tea, potatoes, purple rice, and seafood.

Not long ago, XiamenAir launched customized poverty alleviation tea garden in Xiadang Township, Shouning County, Fujian Province of China.

The high-altitude mountains there are perfectly suited for growing tea with an even distribution of rainfall, moderate temperatures, abundant soil, and a sunny climate. The tea grown and produced there is full of fragrance and deserves its reputation as “the taste of the countryside.”

“Besides, the ‘Xiamen Egret Volunteer Alliance’ we also called on more than 6,000 volunteers and hosted more than 400 non-profit events. We also cooperate with Yao Foundation, set up by Mr. Yao Ming, a former NBA popular player for Houston Rockets. Together we created the ‘Egret Dream’ brand and jointly promote China’s rural education. We also went deeper working on poverty alleviation, investing over 10 million yuan in poverty remediation efforts and sent our employees to these areas to work with the locals. Some examples of our efforts include the launch of poverty-relief custom tea garden in Shouning County, Fujian Province,” Chairman Zhao Dong said.

Another shared benefit innovation cited by Chairman Zhao Dong during his remarks today was XiamenAir’s’ recognition and celebration of April 23, 2019, as “World Reading Day.” In commemoration of this occasion, passengers on XiamenAir wrote down reading encouragement cards for children in impoverished mountainous areas. The cards were filled with their reading experiences, life feelings, and positive, warm encouragement. In addition to providing the reading encouragement cards, XiamenAir also transported physical books and e-books to Zhuozi County, a state-level poverty-stricken county in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China, to help set up a “United Dream Reading Room” for children of Zhuozi County Beiwan Primary School and Daqing Street Primary School.

“In the past five years, we have also deployed 9 aircraft a year and opened 68 routes to underdeveloped areas, with revenue reduction of 1.22 billion RMB if those aircraft fly to other destinations,” Chairman Zhao Dong said.

A Company that Cares

China has been committed to sustainable development philosophy since ancient times. It is our responsibility to leave a beautiful world with a blue sky and clear water for posterity. Sustainable development is a ‘golden key’ that will benefit humankind and future generations. In the future, we will continue to spread the Sustainable Development Goals to the world, and drive the long-term positive development of the aviation industry. At the same time, we also sincerely look forward to all outstanding enterprises to join hands with us, fulfill the mission together, and jointly create the bright future of the global village!” Chairman Zhao Dong’s remarks concluded.

The APEX 40th anniversary celebration and EXPO began in the Los Angeles Convention Center, which has hosted some of the largest and most acclaimed trade shows in the world. APEX EXPO was co-located with the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) EXPO and Aircraft Interiors EXPO. To maximize outreach to exposition visitors, XiamenAir’s APEX booth was located near Panasonic and Boeing’s booth, respectively.

APEX is the only non-profit membership trade organization comprised of the world’s leading airlines, industry suppliers, major media groups and related aviation industry leaders dedicated to elevating the passenger experience for more than 80 percent of global passengers while driving industry initiatives and desired regulations. APEX has more than 400 registered members worldwide and more than 3,000 participants, including experts and thought leaders in the airline industry, are expected to attend the September event, including more than 100 airlines and more than 350 large suppliers such as Airbus Group, Spafax, Panasonic and many others.

APEX is a premier industry event for XiamenAir to successfully promote its brand, affirm its ongoing commitment to sustainability and NA routes to international organizations, representatives of global airlines, international media, travelers and attendees.

SOURCE Xiamen Airlines