Alaska Airlines Teams with UP.Partners to Meet Net Zero Goal

 - October 18, 2021, 4:52 PM

Alaska Airlines has formed an investment arm to advance emerging technologies aimed at accelerating the airline’s progress toward its goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions, the Seattle-based carrier said Monday. Called Alaska Star Ventures, the company has partnered with UP.Partners, an early-stage investor in advanced air mobility ventures.

“The future of aviation is a collaborative effort between founders, funders, builders, and key stakeholders—like Alaska Airlines,” said Cyrus Sigari, UP.Partners’ co-founder and managing partner. “With transportation as the underlying fabric of society, selective and values-driven investments that move the industry toward sustainable aviation are key. We’re proud to partner with such a mission-aligned group that is launching today: Alaska Star Ventures.”

Alaska Airlines in April announced a commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 with a five-part strategy to decarbonize. Alaska Airlines said its deployment of Flyways—artificial intelligence and machine-learning software that supports its dispatchers’ route optimization efforts—inspired the pursuit of additional technologies to accelerate the company’s path to net zero.

The company’s efforts toward advancing environmental sustainability include onboard recycling, eliminating plastic straws and stir sticks, enabling touchless and paperless guest experiences through technology, advancing the use of sustainable aviation fuels, and partnering with the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program to evaluate and test sustainability-focused technology.

“We’re proud of our ambitious targets and our legacy of being pioneers, but we also know we can’t fundamentally decarbonize and achieve net-zero carbon emissions alone,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines' vice president of public affairs and sustainability. “That’s why we’re focused on discovering, partnering with, and enabling technologies that will allow us to take real and meaningful steps on our five-part path to net-zero now and in the years ahead. We’re thrilled to partner with UP.Partners on our first project and are fortunate to have aviation veteran Pasha Saleh leading corporate development to successfully launch and grow this initiative.”