Week in travel: United pledges to reduce emissions by 50%

Boeing unveils biggest passenger plane, while Scotland opens first design museum, and Wellington is named New Zealand’s top destination

United Airlines has publicly committed to contributing to cleaner future – the first carrier in the United States to do so. With the ambition of becoming the world’s most environmentally conscious airline by 2050, the carrier aims to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent.

United have the ambition of becoming the world's most environmentally conscious airline by 2050 —  Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock Week in travel: United pledges to reduce emissions by 50%
United have the ambition of becoming the world’s most environmentally conscious airline by 2050 – Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock

Relative to 2005, the measure represents the equivalent of removing 4.5 million vehicles from the road each year. Such number equals the total number of cars in Los Angeles and New York City combined.

“At United, we believe there is no point in setting challenging and ambitious goals without also taking tangible steps towards achieving them, especially when it comes to securing the health of our communities and our planet,” said Oscar Munoz, United’s chief executive officer.

“While we’re proud to be first US carrier taking such an ambitious step, it is a distinction we look forward to sharing as the rest of the industry catches up and makes similar commitments to sustainability.”

The carrier wants to accomplish the mission by using sustainable aviation biofuels, welcoming newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft into its fleet and implementing further operational changes to better conserve fuel.

Boeing shows off almost complete 777-9 – the world’s biggest twin-engine jetliner

Boeing has finally provided a glimpse of what is supposed to be the world’s biggest twin-engine jetliner. The company rolled out a new member of the 777 generation, the 777X-9 “fully assembled” test plane at the Boeing facility in Everett, Washington, earlier this month.  

Once completed, the aircraft will have the widest wingspan of any plane the firm has ever constructed in 99-year history – 71.6 metres.

However, being just a test model, the aircraft presented won’t ever reach the sky.

“Static test is our opportunity to verify the design of the structure and load bearing components of the airplane, ensuring the final product is safe for our customers and the flying public,” says Doreen Bingo, Boeing test and evaluation 777X test program manager.

“Using a full-scale airplane, we’ll run various load conditions on the wings, gears, the struts and the fuselage.”

The new design of the wings give the plane extra lift. This will help the airliner to save 12 per cent more fuel than the Airbus A350, according to Boeing.

US economy boom helps airlines reach summer records

The booming economy allows passengers to get tickets for lower price — Shutterstock  Week in travel: United pledges to reduce emissions by 50%
The booming economy allows passengers to get tickets for a lower price – Shutterstock

This summer’s record breaking operation for United States carriers has one common cause – the booming economy of the country.

According to the numbers presented by the Transportation Security Administration, more than 253 million passengers travelled by air from the Wednesday before Memorial Day to the Tuesday after Labor Day, which is an increase of 6 per cent in comparison to the same period last year.

The administration claimed that nine of the top 10 busiest weeks in its 15-year history occurred this summer, thanks to the positive development on the American market.

“With a growing economy, steady employment gains, and household net worth at an all-time high in the first quarter of 2018 ($100.8 billion), passengers are taking advantage of persistently low airfares,” said a spokesperson for Airlines 4 America, which represents the largest US airlines.

Lonely Planet names Wellington New Zealand’s top destination

Wellington is one of the coolest little capitals in the world — Shutterstock Week in travel: United pledges to reduce emissions by 50%
Wellington is one of the coolest little capitals in the world – Shutterstock

One of the coolest little capitals in the world. That’s how a renowned travel publisher, Lonely Planet, has described the capital of New Zealand while featuring it in one of its latest travel guides.

The publication, which is often referred to as the bible for backpackers, names Wellington the number one highlight for tourists.

The publisher sent seven writers to the towns and cities – from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island – to provide their opinions for the latest book. The team praised Wellington for its art-house cinemas, hip bars and live music.

“Wellington is the crossing point between the North and South Islands, so travellers have long been passing through these parts. The likes of Te Papa and Zealandia now stop visitors in their tracks,” the book says.

“Edgy yet sociable, colourful yet often dressed in black. Wellington is big on the unexpected and unconventional. “One of the coolest little capitals in the World, windy Wellington lives up to the hype.”

Dundee opens landmark Scottish design museum

The construction, designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, brings echoes of 1970s brutalism concrete to the northern part of the city  — Abi Warner / Shutterstock Week in travel: United pledges to reduce emissions by 50%
The V&A was designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma – Abi Warner / Shutterstock

The Scottish city of Dundee has built the nation’s first ever design museum and its appearance is truly remarkable.

The construction, designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, brings echoes of 1970s brutalism concrete to the northern part of the city and features such design projects as the restored Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room.

“I’m truly in love with the Scottish landscape and nature,” Kuma said.

“I was inspired by the cliffs of northeastern Scotland – it’s as if the earth and water had a long conversation and finally created this stunning shape.”

By spending over £105 million on the attraction, representatives believe it will bring more international recognition towards the city and the Tayside region itself.

“It’s made a tangible difference even before it’s opened,” said Dundee city council’s leader, John Alexander. “We are predicting an economic boost in the city estimated in the region of £11.6m a year.”

Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A, as the museum is often called, said: “This cultural milestone for the city of Dundee is also a landmark moment in V&A history.”

He called the museum: “A new international centre for design that celebrates Scotland’s cultural heritage.”