On Thursday, National Carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) became the first African airline to fly a sustainable, friendly commercial long-haul flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam.

The flight was part of a global campaign to reduce environmental pollution caused by the aviation sector.

KQ Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Allan Kilavuka said the flight will generate significant innovations to help cut aviation’s environmental impact.

“On the planet sustainability we are focusing on helping to decarbonize the aerospace through fleet types that have the least amount of carbon emission, reducing our fuel burn through routing, managing our waste through recycling, and deploying the use of solar and SAF as alternative energy,” he added.

The flight is part of The Sustainable Flight Challenge (TSFC), which involves partnerships between SkyTeam member airlines.

KQ operated a Boeing B787-8 Dreamliner for the return flight between Nairobi and Amsterdam.

Further, Jambojet will also be involved in the short-haul return flight between Nairobi and Mombasa today.

The airline said it is working closely with partners to develop sustainable solutions for the flight, to adopt the solutions across its operations.

“As an airline, we are always looking at innovative ways to optimize our operations for business, environment and community sustainability,” Jambojet Managing Director and CEO Karanja Ndegwa said.

“TSFC is a great opportunity for us to collaborate and learn from global airlines through knowledge sharing and continuous improvement,” Ndegwa added.

This year, the Challenge features 22 airlines looking to execute the most sustainable flight possible on 72 return flights.

As part of its sustainability program, the airline has invested in three carbon offsetting projects in Nairobi, Uasin Gishu, and Mombasa counties to achieve net zero by 2050.