AirAsia Capital A Soars Towards Sustainability Goals in 2023

A line-up of parked AirAsia Airbus A320s.
Photo Credit: AirAsia

Capital A, the parent company of AirAsia, has taken a significant leap forward in its commitment to sustainability, achieving near pre-pandemic fuel and carbon efficiency for its core airline.

This notable achievement is documented in the Group’s first dedicated sustainability report.

It features a range of impressive achievements across environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects throughout 2023.

Environmental Initiatives

AirAsia stands out for achieving its lowest carbon emissions per passenger and per available seat kilometer (gCO2/ASK and gCO2/RPK) to date.

Through a series of well-defined operational efficiency initiatives, AirAsia successfully reduced its total carbon footprint by a staggering 129,469 tonnes. This translates to a significant saving of 41,000 tonnes of fuel and a cool US$40 million in fuel costs.

These impressive results have secured AirAsia’s position among the top regional narrow body operators in terms of environmental performance.

Furthermore, the Centre for Aviation’s (CAPA-Envest 2023) report awarded AirAsia a prestigious Gold Environmental Sustainability rating, solidifying its commitment to eco-friendly practices.

Capital A’s environmental efforts extend beyond carbon reduction. Their waste management strategies diverted a remarkable 49% of non-hazardous waste from landfills, exceeding their halfway mark towards complete landfill diversion.

Additionally, Santan, AirAsia’s inflight catering subsidiary, launched a forward-thinking five-year plan that prioritizes the use of affordable, biodegradable packaging solutions.

This initiative, coupled with efforts to minimize food waste, demonstrates a holistic approach to environmental responsibility throughout the air travel experience.

Three AirAsia aircraft parked on the tarmac at Perth Airport.

Economic Strength Fueled by Innovation

Capital A understands that achieving sustainability goals goes hand-in-hand with economic viability.

To strengthen its sustainability governance, the Group appointed key advisors: Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, a Professor of Planetary Health at Sunway University, and Dr. Veerathai Santiprabhob, the former Governor of the Bank of Thailand.

Their expertise will be instrumental in guiding Capital A’s sustainability journey.

The Group’s commitment to innovation extends beyond environmental initiatives. The rebranding of the Super App as AirAsia MOVE reflects a continued focus on digital transformation.

This revamped platform boasts an improved user interface, making the travel booking experience even more seamless for customers.

Furthermore, the launch of AskBo, an AI chatbot, empowers customers to receive swift and efficient solutions to complex queries.

Automation efforts streamline operations and contribute to a more sustainable future. By encouraging the use of self-service check-in solutions, Capital A successfully eliminated 200,000 paper boarding passes in 2023.

This not only reduces paper waste but also translates to faster check-in processes and shorter wait times for passengers.

Customer satisfaction remains a top priority for Capital A. The positive trend in AirAsia’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) towards pre-pandemic levels reflects growing customer satisfaction with the airline’s services.

This positive feedback underscores the Group’s ability to balance sustainability initiatives with operational excellence.

An AirAsia X aircraft climbing steeply after takeoff

Investing in a More Equitable Future

Social responsibility is a cornerstone of Capital A’s sustainability strategy. The Group has made significant strides in increasing the representation of women in leadership and STEM roles.

In 2023, women in leadership positions rose to 32%, a commendable increase from 24% the previous year.

Similarly, female pilot representation jumped to 7% and women employed in tech/IT roles climbed to 23.9%, compared to 6.6% and 17.7% respectively in 2022. These figures demonstrate Capital A’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Capital A’s social impact extends beyond its workforce. The AirAsia Foundation, its philanthropic arm, resumed full grant-making activities in 2023.

This initiative provides crucial financial support to social enterprises in ASEAN countries, fostering positive social change in the region.

Furthermore, the Foundation has incorporated an environmental focus into its grant qualifying criteria.

In 2023, they awarded a total of RM244,907 in grants to three organizations – Natural Aceh (Indonesia), Fisherfolk (Thailand), and Bambuhay (Philippines).

These groups are actively working towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals related to poverty alleviation, gender equality, and environmental protection.

Yap Mun Ching, the Group’s Chief Sustainability Officer, emphasizes the invaluable contributions of the newly appointed advisors and applauds the collective efforts of AirAsia’s various business units in realizing these impressive achievements.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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