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A Look at Avolon’s and Soisa’s Materials Upcycling Initiative

Avolon Collaborates with Soisa Aircraft Interiors to Upcycle Used Materials for the Benefit of Mexican Communities

In an innovative move, Avolon, a prominent aviation finance company, has formed a strategic alliance with Soisa Aircraft Interiors to repurpose waste materials, thereby assisting indigenous communities in Mexico. The Tarahumara tribe in Chihuahua employs materials from decommissioned aircraft to create traditional crafts.

Under this pioneering project, Avolon and Soisa Aircraft Interiors transform scrap material from old aircraft into various craft products. The waste materials, which include over 800kg of leather, are donated to the Tarahumara tribe members in Chihuahua, Mexico. These materials are then crafted into traditional artisan products, including wallets, bags, aprons, and tablecloths. 

Old aircraft interiors materials are upcycled into new goods through Avolon's and Soisa's Waste to Wonder initiative.
2023 : Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, announces the publication of its 2022 Sustainability Report. Last year Avolon ran a pilot project to increase levels of recycling of waste materials from airplane interiors during aircraft transitions. Artisans from the Tarahumara tribe in Chihuahua, Mexico, transform these materials into traditional goods, such as handmade wallets and bags.

Interior components of aircraft undergoing decommissioning or refit, such as seat covers and curtains, often find their way to landfills. However, through the ‘Waste to Wonder’ initiative, these materials help generate income for the families of 55 Tarahumara tribe members participating in the project. 

FODARCH (Fomento y Desarrollo Artesanal de Chihuahua), a government entity championing indigenous cultural traditions, backs this project. They offer training and assist in selling the finished products in a shop frequented by visitors to Chihuahua, the largest state in Mexico. 

Supporting A Circular Economy for Aircraft Interiors

Avolon’s sustainability strategy underscores its commitment to supporting the circular economy. Enhancing the reuse and recycling of materials from decommissioned aircraft in an environmentally friendly manner helps achieve that aim. Avolon has recently allied with a group of partners and pledged to use only teardown facilities accredited by the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA).

“The Waste to Wonder project provides an excellent example of how, through creativity and collaboration, better use can be made of materials in the aviation supply chain that were previously regarded as scrap. The ability of the Tarahumara tribe members in Chihuahua to produce beautiful artisan products out of old leather from seat covers has been inspiring to see. Avolon is committed to finding more opportunities to decommission end-of-life aviation materials in a sustainable manner,” said Enda Swan, Head of Technical, Avolon

Jacobo Mesta, Chief Executive of Soisa Aircraft Interiors, said of the project, Working closely with members of the Tarahumara tribe in Chihuahua, we have been honored to establish this project with the support of Avolon and FODARCH. Working more sustainably is a key objective at Soisa, and this project has provided a perfect opportunity to convert something previously regarded as waste into a craft product that can be sold to improve the livelihoods of local communities.”

See the video of the Waste to Wonder project.

About Avolon

Avolon, a preeminent global aviation finance enterprise, dedicates its expertise to bridging capital and clientele, catalyzing the evolution of aviation, and amplifying global travel’s economic and social advantages. Our cornerstone principles include fostering enduring customer alliances, promoting a collaborative team spirit, and ensuring prompt execution. Their investment strategies support a long-term vision involving strategic risk diversification and adept capital management to fortify a robust balance sheet. Serving 149 airlines across 65 nations, Avolon boasts a portfolio of 875 aircraft, including owned, managed, and committed ones, as recorded on June 30, 2023. Learn more: 

About Soisa

Headquartered in Chihuahua, Mexico, Soisa, an AS9100-certified aircraft upholstery expert, also operates an additional facility in Dubai, UAE. Established in 2006, this family-owned and operated enterprise offers an exhaustive array of flexible design and manufacturing services. These encompass prototyping, product, quality engineering, and integrating upholstery, foams, composites, metals, and other interior components. Boasting a workforce of over 250 highly skilled professionals across its locations, Soisa places a high premium on customer satisfaction. Its cutting-edge facilities are capable of producing over 45 shipsets per month. Soisa collaborates with all major seat OEMs, and its products grace the cabins of more than 100 airlines globally. In addition to its business efforts, Soisa supports the local Chihuahua community through a comprehensive ESG program.

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