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Qatar Airways pledges to fly wild animals back to their habitat for free

February 4, 2021 at 1:10 pm

Qatar Airways cargo to bring wild animals back home, free of charge [qatarairways/Twitter]

Qatar Airways Cargo, the cargo division of the Doha-based airline, has announced the second phase of its sustainability programme WeQare called Rewild the Planet in which the carrier has committed to preserving wildlife and endangered animals by flying them back to their natural habitat free of charge.

Guillaume Halleux, the Chief Officer for cargo at Qatar Airways said: “We are concerned about the legacy we leave for the future generation. As the world’s leading cargo carrier, we strongly believe in giving back to the community and protecting our environment.”

“We all know that animals have an important role to play in preserving ecological balance which in turn ensures existence and stability of the environment.

“Through Chapter 2 – Rewild the Planet, we want to encourage this preservation and that is why we are offering free transport to bring wild animals back to where they belong.”

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Qatar Airways is an inaugural signatory to the Buckingham Palace Declaration in 2016 which, with the support of the transport industry, aims to crackdown on illegal wildlife trafficking. It is also a founding member of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce. Back in 2018 the airline transported an endangered black rhino from San Diego Zoo to its native habitat in Tanzania as part of a breeding programme.

The WeQare initiative was launched in July last year as part of the airline’s commitment to environmental awareness and their “zero tolerance policy to the illegal transportation of endangered wildlife.” The first phase included offering one million kilogrammes-worth of humanitarian aid and medical equipment to a number of charitable organisations.

The aviation industry contributes to 2.5 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, although the COVID-19 pandemic curbed global emissions last year, data has revealed that it picked up in the second half of the year. According to transportation and logistics news site TheLoadStar, despite Qatar Airways’ commitment to sustainability, it is one of the few major carriers not to have tested sustainable aviation fuel.

In an interview with the website, Halleux explained: “Why haven’t we done sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) flights? The number-one reason is that we’ve been focused on growing the business. It sounds like an easy excuse, but we go at a real speed, running and growing.”

“The second reason is that there isn’t enough of it. There are very strong ambitions with SAF, but at the moment it’s not available at all gateways, that’s the problem now.”

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