Promoting sustainability AND prosperity – ATR shows how it’s done

Should airlines be promoting the benefits of aviation, in tandem with talking about sustainability?  So long as they actually have something to say on the latter subject, absolutely.

IATA has done this for a number of years, by talking about ‘the business of freedom’. In the past we’ve felt that while the thinking behind these campaigns was good, the execution seemed at times a little two dimensional.

Enter regional aircraft maker ATR, which is giving a lesson on how it should be done.

ATR has built a micro-site, alongside a series of short YouTube videos showing how ATR aircraft are bringing economic benefits to communities in Asia-Pacific, while at the same time reminding viewers and readers that turboprop aircraft burn less fuel than regional jets.

For example, the video of Siargao in the Philippines, shows how everyone from local fishermen to small shops and cafes catering to tourists have benefitted since Cebu Pacific started serving the island with 4x daily flights.

It also makes the point that the service is important when it comes to bringing in medical supplies and staff, while highlighting the work of environmental charity SEA Movement, which is active on the island in areas such as plastic clean up.

The campaign is backed up by PR and media efforts. Stefano Bortoli, ATR’s CEO, has been on CNBC reinforcing the message that ‘turboprops are a responsible way of flying.’

Here in Europe, Ireland’s Stobart Air has taken that one stage further by actually producing seat back visuals showing how turboprops have a lower per passenger carbon footprint (and are quieter) than jets.

Overall this is a very good campaign, and it shows how the benefits and sustainability messages can be woven together.

The videos are just a few minutes in length and they aren’t filled with brand speak or some corporate voice over.

Instead, they focus on human stories and actual examples of how aviation is making a difference. With many of the world’s airports, and many island communities in particular, being only being reachable via turboprops, the campaign also effectively highlights one of ATR’s USPs.

Of course, the regional market is the one where electric aircraft could have the biggest medium term impact, becoming an even more sustainable option than turboprops. For example, last year Norway’s Wideroe announced that it was working with Rolls Royce with the very ambitious aim of replacing its 30 regional aircraft by the start of the next decade.

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