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Finnair’s VP sustainable development, Kati Ihamaki, appointed to IATA’s Environment Committee

The International Air Transport Association IATA has appointed Kati Ihamaki, Finnair‘s Vice President Sustainable Development to its Environment Committee, which currently has 15 members from major airlines around the world.

“This is the first time that a Finnair representative has applied to become a member of IATA’s Environment Committee, and we had not previously been chosen as an external observer member either. The appointment is partly in recognition of our successful environmental work,” explains Ihamaki.

As members of its Environment Committee, IATA selects experts who have achieved a prominent position in environmental work in their own field. The Environment Committee acts as an advisor to IATA’s management bodies, and implements IATA strategies relating to environmental issues. At the moment the committee has an important role monitoring the position of the sector in relation to climate change and emissions trading. In addition to Finnair, IATA’s Environmental Committee has representatives from Air France, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Continental, Delta Air Lines, Etihad, Federal Express, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal and Virgin Atlantic.

Finnair has been engaged in environmental work for two decades. Finnair’s environmental organization was founded in the early 1990s and the company published its first environmental report already in 1997. Since then the report has been published regularly each year. This year, however, Finnair published a GRI report covering corporate social responsibility as a whole – one of the first airlines to do so. Finnair’s first Vice President Sustainable Development, Kati Ihamaki, was appointed to this position at the beginning of 2008.

Finnair, currently offering ten non-stop flights per week between New York and Helsinki, has been using new A330-300 aircraft on this route since April. In 2009, Finnair will take delivery of a total of five new Airbus A330 aircraft, improving Finnair’s profitability and environmental efficiency significantly. In particular, the new Airbus long-haul aircraft consume 20% less fuel than the MD-11 they replace.

With traffic between Europe and Asia growing in recent years, Helsinki’s location on the shortest route between Europe and Asia is increasingly becoming an important factor in Finnair’s sustainability efforts. Due to its advantageous location, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport offers passengers the most direct flights between the two continents. By flying via Helsinki, passengers travel in the right direction from Europe to most Asian destinations from the very start, saving time and fuel as well as lowering emissions. Similarly, for passengers who wish to travel from USA’s East Coast to Asia, connecting via Helsinki offers the shortest route in miles as well.

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