KLM gives bikes second life in Ecuador, Kenya

How one airline is giving something back to society

Airlines can give something back to society by using their “corporate infrastructure” to help social initiatives. KLM, for example, fixes up and transports used bicycles from the Netherlands to Ecuador and Kenya.

The 55-sq-km De Hoge Veluwe National Park in the Netherlands has 1,800 white bicycles, first introduced in 1974, for visitors to get around for free in an environmentally responsible way.

Each year the park retires and replaces a fifth of its bike fleet. These are fixed up at De Hoenderloo Groep, a residential centre for disadvantaged young people. Then KLM transports them to a destination where they get a new life.

Most recently, 242 white bikes were flown to the Ecuador, where they are now being used by locals and tourists to cut carbon emissions and raise environmental awareness. The airline also recently flew 500 bikes to Kenya for use by health workers, schools and small businesses.

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[photo courtesy KLM]