Updated: Mar 12
For those who don't know, HiFly is an ACMI specialist headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal. The company operates a wide-range of aircraft, which fly with different airlines around the world. Its fleet consists entirely of Airbus aircraft including the biggest passenger aircraft available, the A380-800.
This article is the continuation of our previous article on our interview of Hi-Fly’s CEO Paulo Mirpuri. This part of the article will have its focus on the questions regarding the environment, and other topics discussed at the interview.
Stepping Into The Future
As stated on their website, Hi-Fly is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2021. When questioned about how they would do this, CEO, Paulo Mirpuri, said that the company is currently going through a process of fleet modernization, which will help step towards that path.
In addition to this, through campaigns such as the “plastic free” flights, and the "Fly the Future" campaign, that was organized in co-operation with the Mirpuri Foundation, he hopes to reduce Hi-Fly’s carbon footprint significantly.
When asked about why it is that Hi-Fly shows such a huge focus to the environment, the CEO explained that, although the airline industry only contributes to around 2% of it, carbon emissions can be reduced even further, and that he himself has always seen the environment a pressing issue. He added that his generation should make sure that they can meet the standards put up by the UN in order to assure that future generations still have a world to come back to.
Being asked about whether or not he believed that the aviation industry could in fact become carbon neutral, Dr. Mirpuri stated that he believed that other airlines would follow suit in Hi-Fly’s steps and that organizations such as the Mirpuri foundation will need to be launched to help airlines attain carbon neutrality.
The Big Problem
Having one of their main bases in Beja, Portugal, Hi-Fly has chosen quite a particular airport to operate out from. Located in the middle of one of the least populated regions in the country, Beja airport sees little to no flights most of the year, with the exception of some domestic activity coming from Lisbon.
When asked about the future of this airport, Dr. Mirpuri said that, although he doesn’t see a future where Beja becomes a commercial aviation hub, he does believe that the airport will grow in its purpose as both a maintenance base and a cargo airport, with Hi-Fly themselves currently improving their facilities there.
In what regards the Lisbon airport issue, the CEO of Hi-Fly stated that he believes that both the expansion of the existing Portela Airport, and the opening of the Montijo Airport is an adequate solution for the time being, considering that building a new airport from scratch would prove to be a very expensive task.
However, he also stated that this solution shouldn’t be final and that in the years thereafter, the country should open up a public debate regarding the building of a new airport, connected to the city by high speed railways and other infrastructure.
Hi-Fly’s Beginning, It’s Success, And The Man Behind It
During this interview, I asked Dr. Mirpuri why he formed Hi-Fly in Portugal, what first brought him to the business, considering he is formed in medicine, and what he believed was behind the success of Hi-Fly, and to my surprise all of his answers were incredibly straight forward.
He is Portuguese, so he chose his home to start this venture. Aviation was in his blood since before he was even in college, due to his involvement with his family’s aviation business. As the years went by, he gradually turned to aviation, and now only practices medicine on a pro-bono basis - not charging for any services.
As for the answer to the last question, Dr. Mirpuri answered that the major key behind the success of his company is the wide range of aircraft and services Hi-Fly gives to its customers. With over 140 clients in their database and offering every Airbus plane (except the A350 which will be introduced in 2021) from the small A319 to the huge A380, HiFly gives a massive amount of flexibility to its customers.
With that I end our summary of our exclusive interview with the Hi-Fly CEO Paulo Mirpuri. I wanted to once again extend a thank you from myself and the team here at AeroNewsX for the amazing opportunity that was given to us.