Sustainable Flight Challenge awards KLM, KLM Cityhopper and Air France

Global airline alliance SkyTeam has awarded KLM, KLM Cityhopper and Air France among the seven winners of its Sustainable Flight Challenge 2023. The mission of this year’s challenge, between May 15 and May 28, with 22 participating airlines, was to stimulate and accelerate innovation in the aviation industry towards zero emissions flight.  

The Sustainable Flight Challenge covers flight and ground operations, with each airline's solutions judged by a panel of international aviation and sustainability experts. In this year’s challenge, 22 airlines operated 72 flights, 50 more than in 2022. Together they submitted more than 350 new ideas that will be shared across the industry. According to SkyTeam, the 2023 challenge resulted in an average improvement of 19% in CO2 intensity compared to the same flights operated in the previous month. 


Simple Flying reports that With Kenya Airways, TAROM, China Eastern Airlines and Air Europa, KLM, Air France, KLM Cityhopper were the best performing airlines in different categories.  

  • KLM won the prize for ‘Best Adoption’: the airline proactively committed to uploading its solutions onto the shared Challenge platform for other airlines to implement as part of their own sustainability efforts.  
  • Air France won the prize in the ‘Best Collaboration’ category. Air France's Holistic Green airport comprised 41 partners and 17 third parties, including airports, airlines, aeronautics experts, public authorities, researchers and start-ups across Europe.  
  • KLM Cityhopper landed first prize in the category ‘Best In-flight Waste Management’. It reduced waste on both its flights to a total of only 12 kilograms (26.5 pounds) from the 192 passengers onboard. According to the report by Simple Flying, this equates to 62 grams (2.19 ounces) per person compared to the IATA industry average of 1.43 kilograms (3.15 pounds) of waste per passenger.