Turkey's national flag carrier signs declaration to block illegal trade of wildlife.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the airline said United for Wildlife Buckingham Palace Declaration (UFW), which was on the agenda of 73rd International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual general meeting held in Mexico in June, has been signed by 41 airline companies so far.
Turkish Airlines approved the declaration during the signing ceremony at the Turkish Airlines Istanbul Headquarters.
"With this declaration, we as Turkish Airlines are not only underlining one of the most important environmental issues of our times, trafficking of wildlife, but we are also setting an example of responsibility," the airline’s Deputy Chairman and CEO Bilal Eksi said.
IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac, for his part, said: "The illegal wildlife trade threatens to extinguish many of the world’s most iconic and special creatures. The global connectivity built by the aviation industry is being exploited by traffickers, but through coordinated action with our industry partners, and assisting the proper authorities, we can help to end this dreadful trade.
The declaration, which was also signed by Airports Council International (ACI), African Airlines Association, Airlines Association of Southern Africa and London Heathrow Airport, aims to stop illegal wildlife trade of tusk, rhino horn, tortoise shell etc. as well as increasing passenger, customer, client, and staff awareness about the nature, scale, and consequences of the illegal trade of wildlife.
Turkish Airlines fly to over 300 destinations worldwide with its fleet of 329 passenger and cargo aircraft.
According to the 2017 Skytrax survey, Turkish Airlines, already having been named the Best Airline in Europe between 2011 and 2016, has now been chosen the Best Airline in Southern Europe for the ninth year in a row.