Archive for the 'green' Category

Airbus A380 Flies On Alternative Fuel

As AirlineWorld has reported last year, Boeing had earlier announced two test flights with alternative fuel to be conducted together with Air New Zealand sometime through 2008 (later a similar plan was announced in cooperation with Virgin Atlantic) . As a slap in the face, Airbus earlier this week announced that they have successfully carried out a similar test one week ago, on Friday, 01FEB2008, becoming the first ever commercial flight using such fuel.

As ATW and Airbus have reported, Airbus operated this test flight using a liquid fuel processed from gas on its new, supposedly currently most eco-friendly super-jumbo, the A380 (test aircraft A380 MSN004). The commercial aircraft was partially powered by an alternative fuel. The Gas to Liquids (GTL) test flight between two of Aribus’s operational bases from Filton, UK to Toulouse, France lasted 3 hr. During the flight, engine number one of four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines was fed with a blend of GTL and jet fuel while the remaining three consumed regular standard jet fuel. Shell International Petroleum provided the GTL. During the test flight, they have tested maximum throttle, maximum flight altitude, and maximum speed as well.

Airbus A380 flies on alternative fuel (photo from China Post)

The test, which the manufacturer said was the first of several of its kind that it will conduct, was in accordance with the agreement it signed in November 2007 with the Qatar GTL consortium partners, which include Qatar Airways, Rolls-Royce, Qatar Petroleum, Shell, Qatar Science & Technology Park and Woqod Qatar Fuel Co. “This is the first step of a long-term Airbus testing phase to evaluate viable and sustainable alternative fuels for the future,” the company said. “GTL could be available at certain locations to make it a practical and viable drop-in alternative fuel for commercial aviation in the short term. GTL has attractive characteristics for local air quality, as well as some benefits in terms of aircraft fuel burn relative to existing jet fuel.” GTL is virtually free of sulphur, it noted. Qatar Airways has a target to become the first airline in the world to use such a synthetic fuel in their everyday operations.

Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders called the flight “a great achievement,” adding: “Fuel and environment are key challenges aviation is facing and for which technology and international research collaboration open up new horizons. Our alternative fuels roadmap requires innovation, diversity of ideas and options that need to be explored.

The official video of the test flight by Airbus can be viewed here. 

by balint01

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Lufthansa And Swiss Cooperate With myclimate.org

myclimate logo

myclimate, is a Swiss non-profit foundation well known as a leading provider of carbon offsetting measures combating climate change. Since 2002 climate conscious consumers have the possibility to make compensation payments to myclimate for man-made CO2 emissions and in this process are supported by an emissions calculator. Any volunteer contributions made are used to fund myclimate protection projects. These projects comply with the highest quality standards and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Lufthansa Logo  Swiss logo

At about the same time as the Qantas group announced their similar, separate green program, only two weeks ago myclimate launched a new initiative together with Star Alliance members Lufthansa and Swiss International Airlines. The airlines now offer their passengers the option to use myclimate’s offset solutions by adding the voluntary option to their website. There are dedicated websites set up for Lufthansa (http://lufthansa.myclimate.org/EN) and Swiss (http://swiss.myclimate.org/EN) enabling passengers to make donations for environmental protection after calculating their share of pollution based on their departure, transfer and destination airports. The branded websites include a slightly modified calculator that actually takes into account the fuel efficiency of the fleet of each airlines. I have made a trial, if I use the standard myclimate.org website’s calculator, for a return flight between Budapest and Frankfurt on economy class (business and first produce more emission according to the calculator…) I end up with 0.376 t of CO2 emission, while if I use the Lufthansa branded website (as Lufthansa has a more fuel efficient fleet than the industry standard), for the same return flight and same distance flown (1668 km) the result of the calculation equals only 0.278 t of CO2, which means a difference of -27%. If I would change planes in Zürich (and fly with Swiss, using the Swiss branded calculator) it would of course be a longer distance of 2183 km, with 0.482 t of CO2 emitted, which means 73% more emission than if I would have flown directly. Actually both branded websites show the same results for the same querries, with the same lower than average amount of emission levels.

Both airlines have chosen dedicated projects which they support from the money their passengers will pay to offset their emissions from their flights. Lufthansa and Swiss support two projects in Karnataka and Bihar in India, where emissions are reduced through the production of electricity from agricultural waste instead of coal and diesel.

René Estermann, managing director of myclimate has said: “The commitment of these two airlines will hopefully soon contribute to a significant increase in the number of air passengers who volunteer to offset their CO2 emissions. It is another small step in the right direction, namely to give CO2 emissions a value.” The above mentioned return flight which I used as an example for the trial (BUD-FRA-BUD) would suggest that I volunteer EUR 3 per flight for offsetting my share of pollution, which would be a total of EUR 6. Just flying between Zürich and New York (and back) for example would generate 1.238 t of CO2 and would require the passenger to pay a compensation of EUR 25.

Just an interesting calculation: if a business man flies to Frankfurt from Budapest twice a month (except for the Christmas period and summer holidays), the generated annual CO2 emission would be 0.278 t * 22 = 6.116 t (! equaling the weight of about 5 average size car from the Volkswagen Golf category!), and this amount of CO2 could be offset by paying a fee of EUR 132. I wonder if there are any companies that are environmentally committed so much that they are willing to pay for the offsetting of all (or at least part of) the CO2 emissions of their employees that is generated while sending them back and forth around the globe countless times every year?

by balint01

Qantas and easyJet Announce Green Initiatives

These days we seem to talk about more and more about Global Warming, especially as our weather patterns seem to be confused a little bit… And it’s always a question how air transportation takes its part in this process. We know that flying contributes to the emission of green-house gases, but it’s always a subject of dispute just how much it actually does that. IATA has launched a new initiative to reduce the emission of these gases, but more and more airlines are launching their own, individual programs to save the environment, or at least to pollute less. Up to date, the traditional airlines have been much more active in this field, even though environmentalists blame the low-cost airlines even more, as they grow much quicker and thus take a bigger percentage of air travel related pollution day-by-day. This article features one traditional and one low-cost airline initiative.

Recently, two different initiatives have been announced by two airlines, but under the surface they target the same philosophy:

“Pay as much as you pollute!”

Qantas logo Jetstar logo The Qantas Group launched a comprehensive “carbon offset program” under which Qantas and Jetstar (the low-cost subsidiary of Qantas) passengers can elect to offset their share of flight emissions by making monetary contributions through qantas.com and jetstar.com. Group CEO Geoff Dixon told media yesterday that the company has “undertaken a full lifecycle assessment of all operations, calculating the emissions associated with carrying a passenger from one point to another.” Via the websites, passengers can use an “online calculator” that assesses flight data and “automatically advises customers of their emissions and the cost of offsetting them.”

Dixon added that Qantas Group is focused on achieving a CO2 savings target of more than 2 million tonnes by June 2011 through a range of initiatives that it believes will set the airline up as an industry leader in cutting emissions. It has $20 billion worth of Airbus A380s (20) and Boeing 787s (65) on order (the two new aircraft types will be much more fuel-efficient than the current ones) and has launched a series of support programs to cut fuel consumption. These range from the establishment of a dedicated, businesswide environment and fuel conservation department; to optimizing aircraft approach and departure tracks, and introduction of “Variable Cost Index Flight Planning” for optimal speed and routing based on daily variations in wind, temperature and weight, which would save fuel, and thus lead to lower emissions.

easyJet UK budget airline easyJet is taking a slightly different approach, not leaving the decision to the passengers, rather calling on politicians to take a “more intelligent” approach when it comes to aviation’s environmental impact. In a report published yesterday entitled “Towards Greener Skies: The Surprising Truth About Flying And The Environment,” easyJet recommends that the UK eliminate the controversial Air Passenger Duty, which was doubled earlier this year ostensibly owing to aviation’s impact on the environment, and replace it with a tax based on aircraft types and distance traveled.

Taxing families but not private jets is a grotesque insult,” CEO Andy Harrison said. “The time has come to scrap Air Passenger Duty in its current form and replace it with a ‘polluter tax’ that has at its heart a very simple notion–those that fly on airlines that pollute less, like easyJet, should pay less.”

To reach consumers “that have been mostly silent in the recent debate,” the London Luton-based carrier is launching a national newspaper advertising campaign as well, and plans to place environmental messages on the backs of aircraft seats from early October.

easyJet argues that its passengers produce 95.7g of CO2 per km., “which is less than the average family car, less than Virgin’s Voyager trains, less than the Toyota Prius.” (Toyota Prius is the world’s best selling hybrid vehicle, with supposedly the lowest emissions.)

by balint01 (based on ATW News)

Greener Airlines – Less CO2, Better Environment

Following an initiation of IATA and its member airlines a website has been created to educate people about aviation’s effects on the environment and to communicate the efforts and results that airlines achieve to reduce emission and help nature in recovering.

The motto of the website is Clearer vision, cleaner skies. It says efficiency comes not only from less fuel consuming aircrafts, but also from more efficient operations. Less fuel usage can be saved:

  • By shortening air routes (flying more directly between 2 destination
  • By more precisely planning navigation (circling less above a city)
  • By reducing weight of aircrafts (better organized load planning)

In 2006 only 6 million tonnes of fuel was saved. However there are still ways to improve. The website presents case studies from the industry hat show how emission can be reduced. In the “Did you know?” section we can read questions people asked from aviation experts and of course we can see their answers as well. Also we can read simple facts and figures collected about the airline industry and if we still haven’t found what we were looking for, we can ask questions from the experts taking part in this project.

Screenshot of the website enviro.aero

The best part of the website is the “Flying Experience” menu, which is a small, attractive application that explains the posibilites aviation industry can do in order to preserve nature. It takes us through the process of flying from getting prepared to arriving at the destination using nice graphics, so it is understandable for even children, therefore it can be used even to teach children about the idea at an early age.

I personally really like this initiation and we will carry on writing about such achievements and about airlines that take any kind of steps in order to keep our planet alive.

By Szafi 

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