American Airline employees conserved enough fuel last year to donate $409,513 to Air Compassion For Veterans.
The nonprofit organization helps active military, veterans and their families travel for medical, counseling and rehabilitation needs. Veterans and family members who received aid from Air Compassion for Veterans flew on nearly 1,000 American and American Eagle flights in 2010.
“So many of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have been injured during their military service and face years of surgeries, therapy and rehabilitation,” said American Airlines First Officer Tom Marquardt, a major in the Air Force Reserve. “The ability to go home, or to have your family visit while you’re undergoing rehab, is such an important part of the healing process.”
Fuel Smart, American Airlines’ employee fuel conservation program, empowers employees to initiate changes that will improve fuel economy. Pilots can use a single engine during taxi to and from the gate. Ground crews improve fuel efficiency by quickly connecting ground power and air hoses, allowing the plane to turn off its auxiliary power. Dispatchers and flight crews increase efficiency by planning fuel loads without having to carry extra fuel.
“We are honored to partner with a company like American Airlines, which has made such a strong commitment to serving our military and veterans,” said Ed Boyer, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Airlift. “Without the hard work of American Airlines employees, many of the veterans and their family members simply would not be able to make important trips during rehab and recovery.”
American Airlines plans to continue the program. For 2011, Fuel Smart’s goal is a fuel savings of 138 million gallons and to reduce carbon emissions by 2.9 billion pounds.