ABU DHABI // As with its staff uniforms, Etihad Airways is also finding a use for its used airline blankets, rather than throwing them in landfill.
Once the blankets have been used a maximum of five times to keep passengers warm aboard worldwide flights, many of them are sent off to developing countries as charitable donations.
In the past, the airline’s corporate social responsibility team has organised trips to countries such as Nepal, the Philippines and India, where it handed over large quantities of blankets to impoverished people.
Last week, the airline donated blankets and school supplies to two charities in Kenya – the Dream Children’s Home, which supports about 100 orphans and vulnerable children; and Children in Freedom, which provides free education and mentorship to more than 40 children in schools in Nairobi.
Rachel Gichia, the founder of Dream Children’s Home, said the mission, which was also supported by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, had helped “in alleviating the suffering of the poor and the vulnerable in Africa”.
Linden Coppell, head of sustainability and corporate social responsibility at Etihad Airways said: “The Dream Children’s Home and Children in Freedom organisation stand out as beacons of hope for underprivileged children in Kenya and we are pleased to be able to support these two important causes.”
More than 700 blankets were handed over to the Dream Children’s Home orphanage.
Not only did Etihad donate the blankets, nine members of its Airways’ iVolunteer initiative flew to Kenya to provide their time and skills to support activities including painting part of the orphanage’s interior.