The Last Word: American Airlines’ Robert Isom on Winning the Eco-Airline of the Year Award

“We’re going green—and the world is taking notice!”

Robert Isom
American Airlines
.…on winning Transport World’s 2023 Eco-Airline of the Year award, via Instagram.

Here's "who said what" in Dallas Innovates Every Day.Air Transport World announced today that American Airlines has been named the 2023 Eco-Airline of the Year.

ATW lauded American’s work to run a more fuel-efficient operation with more fuel-efficient aircraft powered increasingly by low-carbon fuel and new technology.

Writing on Instagram, Isom said American’s team “is taking action to incorporate sustainability at every level of our business, from the fuel we buy to how we design our airports and offices. And our all-of-the-above approach is just getting started.”

“As Eco-Airline of the Year, we’ll continue to lead the industry as an innovator in this space and keep building an American Airlines that will thrive forever,” Isom added. “After all, a world worth traveling is a world worth protecting.”

Investing in hydrogen-electric engines and a hydrogen fuel network

In December, we noted that American Airlines was the only passenger airline to make the list of the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index.

In October, we wrote about American making a $5 million “strategic equity investment” in Los Angeles’ Universal Hydrogen Co., a startup developing a hydrogen fuel distribution and logistics network for the aviation industry in the U.S. and Europe. That followed an August investment of at least $5 million in California-based hydrogen-electric engine developer ZeroAvia’s Series B funding round.

American says its ongoing fleet renewal efforts have also helped it improve fuel efficiency by more than 10% since 2013—helping to save nearly 2 billion gallons of fuel and preventing the release of 19 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Today, half of American’s U.S. mainline fleet is less than 10 years old, the airline said.

“At a time when sustainability is a driving force in the aviation industry, American Airlines has a clear vision for the future of sustainable aviation and is making meaningful strides to reach their goals,” ATW Editor-in-Chief Karen Walker said in a statement. “With a comprehensive carbon emissions reduction strategy that touches nearly every part of their company, awarding Eco-Airline of the Year to American is incredibly well-deserved in what was the most competitive field yet.”

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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R E A D   N E X T

  • In this week’s roundup of hires, promotions, and accolades in North Texas, you’ll also find news from the cities of Dallas and Plano, the North Texas Commission, TPG, ParkHub, Vistra, CyrusOne, Van’s Kitchen, ROBOAMP, and more.

  • Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker is back with her Go Time podcast after a summer break—and her first fall episode is a chat with American Airlines CEO Robert Isom.  One of the things that came up: American's $350 million, 300-acre Fort Worth headquarters campus, which opened in 2019 after a project more than five years in the making.

  • Plus: 7-Eleven acquires last-mile delivery startup; American Heart Association invests in $43M healthcare innovation fund; Fort Worth real estate investors raise $32.4M for new fund; Dallas College Lands $8.8M to boost biotech workforce; UT Southwestern researchers land funding for hypothermia therapy study; and more North Texas deals.

  • The alliance—aimed at frequent international travelers worldwide—has member airlines from around the world, including American plus seven others that fly out of DFW Airport: Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Qantas. Other international airlines are in oneworld as well. "With our new home in Fort Worth, we anticipate even closer collaboration with American and our member airlines as we work side by side to further grow and strengthen oneworld," says CEO Rob Gurney.

  • Nearly 30 years after the last Concorde flight, American Airlines is betting on a supersonic future. The Fort Worth-based airline has ordered up to 20 Boom Supersonic Overture aircraft, with an option to order up to 40 more. But don't book your flight yet: Denver-based Boom doesn't expect to roll its first Overture off the production line until 2025, and the first passenger flights are slated for 2029. When they do take flight, the Overtures are expected to fly up to 80 passengers at Mach 1.7 over water, reaching destinations in as little as half the time of subsonic airliners.