Turkish Airlines commits to fight wildlife trafficking

Turkish Airlines commits to fight wildlife trafficking

ANKARA/ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Airlines commits to fight wildlife trafficking

National flag carrier Turkish Airlines has signed a declaration pledging zero tolerance on the illegal wildlife trade, the company has said in a statement.

In a statement issued on Nov. 7, the airline said the United for Wildlife Buckingham Palace Declaration (UFW), which was on the agenda of the 73rd International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual general meeting in Mexico in June, has been signed by 41 airline companies so far. 

Turkish Airlines approved the declaration during the signing ceremony at its 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, we are also setting an example of responsibility,” Turkish Airlines Deputy Chairman and CEO Bilal Ekşi said.

Commenting on the issue, IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said the illegal wildlife trade “threatens to extinguish many of the world’s most iconic and special creatures.”

“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,” de Juniac added.

The declaration, which was also signed by Airports Council International (ACI), the African Airlines Association, the Airlines Association of Southern Africa and London Heathrow Airport, aims to stop the illegal wildlife trade of tusk, rhino horn, tortoise shell, and others, as well as increasing passenger, customer, client, and staff awareness about the nature, scale, and consequences of the illegal trade of wildlife.

Turkish Airlines flies to over 300 destinations worldwide with its fleet of 329 passenger and cargo aircraft.

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