Chartering Fireblade’s journey to sustainable aviation


Authored by Charlotte Winnan, Fireblade Aviation General Manager and Sustainability Champion. 

Sustainability is core to everything we do at Fireblade Aviation. Today is World Environment Day and this gives us an opportunity to share our commitment to building the foundations of a more sustainable aviation industry:

5 JUNE 2023 – Air travel is an essential part of modern life.  Yet advances in science and technology have lead the world to measure and assess the negative impact of fuel emissions and rising carbon levels on our planet more fully than we’ve ever been able to before.  And while sustainability in aviation is complex, regulators are pressing firmly forward on developments to curb emissions and build in efficiencies.

Taking stock

Aircraft charter in South Africa is growing, and so too is Fireblade’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our business as a leading FBO in private air charter in South Africa. The starting point of this journey to sustainable aviation is to take stock and learn as much as possible. We want to ensure a safe future for our planet and the industry, and to invest in research that can provide realistic long-term solutions to the current situation.


Talking transparently

Sustainability is a major point of concern for any responsible aviation company and we aim to be radically transparent and honest about the practicalities of aviation – and the many misconceptions around so-called sustainable solutions. The fact is that the global industry doesn’t have a lot of infrastructure in place yet. In some countries sustainable fuel is gaining traction, and regulators in the US have greenhouse gas standards for aircraft that require manufacturers to meet fuel efficient limits on aircraft/engine combinations and size of fuselage.  The more game changing alternatives such as hydrogen or electric aircraft are future innovations.

While there is a long journey ahead for aviation, small steps make a difference. World Environment Day gives us a chance to reflect on the big issues like sustainable aviation, as well as being mindful of practical ways to contribute to being a responsible business:

Responsible community membership

We’re the first aviation company to join as a member of The Long Run, a nature-based tourism business. As part of this community we share a commitment to drive holistic sustainability. For Fireblade, this 360° focus means constantly referencing the Four Cs, the pillars of culture, conservation, commerce and community. This structured and balanced approach will encourage our business to actively participate in amplifying the positive, sustainable influence of travel on our communities and ecosystems across Africa.  The more you know, the more you can drive change, and Fireblade also uses Weeva, a digital sustainability tracking tool using the latest science to help us act with purpose to measure and improve our impact on the road to creating a more efficient and resilient sustainable tourism business, one bit at a time.


Daily focus

While working towards a more sustainable future for aviation at large, we are also implementing day-to-day sustainability practices in our facilities:

  • electric car charging ports have been introduced
  • digital processes are replacing paper consumption
  • we have eliminated single-use plastics
  • kitchen staff have weekly meetings to reduce waste:
  • moving to biodegradable packaging
  • introducing composting bins
  • sourcing fresh produce from the sustainable on-site Fireblade Aviation garden


Chartering ahead

Momentum equals progress, and step-by-step Fireblade is committed to embarking on this aviation sustainability journey as we continue to lead and innovate as an FBO in the South African flight charter, and maintenance and repair space.  Not just for ourselves, but for our guests and the tourism industry at large.