On January 26, 2018, China’s Xiamen Airlines received its first aircraft bearing the United Nations (UN) message of sustainable development, hoping to promote the message worldwide. The Boeing aircraft is painted with a UN-sanctioned livery featuring the symbol of the 17-point Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and inscriptions in both Chinese and English.

Xiamen pic NL

Alison Smale (L), Under-Secretary General for Global Communications at the UN Department of Public Information, and Zhao Dong, president of Xiamen Airlines, visit the new aircraft in Charleston, the United States, Jan. 26, 2018. China’s Xiamen Airlines on Friday received its first aircraft bearing the UN (United Nations) message of sustainable development, hoping to promote the message worldwide. The Boeing aircraft was painted with a UN-sanctioned livery featuring the symbol of the 17-point Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and inscriptions in both Chinese and English. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

Zhao Dong, president of Xiamen Airlines, told the delivery ceremony that his company is committed to sustainable development, especially after becoming a partner of the UN to promote the agenda in early 2017. Zhao said the newly delivered aircraft will become “the global image ambassador for sustainable development goals”, and will soon operate intercontinental flights in Asia, Europe, as well as to Australia, and the United States.

Alison Smale, Under-Secretary General for Global Communications at the UN Department of Public Information, said the UN was pleased with the support from Xiamen Airlines to push forward the agenda, and is looking forward to explore new ways to enhance cooperation with the airline.

“I think it is an excellent way to illustrate that we can live a modern 21st century life, which includes long-haul air travel, but try to think about it in the most sustainable way possible,” Smale commented, referring to the painted plane.

The Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which boasts of 20 percent less fuel consumption and emission than its predecessors, is an ideal fit to support Xiamen Airlines and the UN SDGs, said John Bruns, President at Boeing China.

Xiamen Airlines was the first airline in the world to cooperate with the UN on promoting sustainable development. In February 2017, Xiamen Airlines signed a cooperation agreement with the UN to support SDGs implementation.

The UN General Assembly adopted in 2015 the 17-point SDGs, which called for ending poverty, hunger and ensuring prosperity worldwide by 2030.