Transport Online – easyJet invests in the latest aircraft technology to achieve permanent CO2 reductions for the entire fleet

AMSTERDAM – easyJet today announced a multi-million pound fleet-wide investment in the latest flight software. This will help the airline to achieve significant and permanent CO2 reductions in the short term. This new software enables the optimization of the aircraft’s descents.

The fleet-wide introduction of Descent Profile Optimization (DPO) and Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) on all suitable aircraft will deliver fuel – and thus CO2 reductions. A noise reduction also applies to aircraft equipped with CDA. By this time next year, once the upgrades are complete, easyJet will have the largest fleet of aircraft with DPO and CDA support in the world. This leads to an estimated annual CO2 reduction of 88,600 MT CO2. This is equivalent to driving the average car 16,173 times around the world.

DPO is a fuel saving initiative that updates the Flight Management System (FMS) to consistently enable more efficient descents. The aircraft then becomes longer in the cruise phase and the deceleration level decreases. This also reduces CO2 emissions. CDA also minimizes noise pollution during descent, which contributes positively to residents around airports.

At the same time as this announcement, easyJet is launching its Net Zero Roadmap to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. The airline’s ultimate ambition is to switch to technology without CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, easyJet is focused on reducing CO2 emissions in the short term and achieving its science-based target; a 35 percent improvement in CO2 emission intensity by FY2035, based on an FY2020 baseline.

In the short term, constant improvements help reduce airlines’ CO2 emissions. Since 2000, easyJet has already reduced its CO2 emissions per passengers per kilometer by a third. A combination of fleet renewal and efficient operations played a major role in this. In the coming years, easyJet will continue to invest in fleet renewal. Among other things with a billion dollar investment in new Airbus A320neo family aircraft. These are 15 percent more fuel efficient and 50 percent quieter than the aircraft they will replace.

Captain David Morgan, easyJet’s interim COO, said: “While our ultimate ambition is to fly with zero CO2 emissions, we must continue to focus every day on reducing CO2 emissions in our operation. That is why the multi-million pound investment in DPO and CDA an important step in achieving a permanent reduction in the near term. This will allow us to operate the largest fleet of aircraft with DPO and CDA support in the world.”

“However, a crucial element to reduce CO2 emissions today cannot be achieved by industry alone. That is why we also call on governments to modernize the airspace now, including the implementation of the common European sky).”

Wouter van Wersch, Airbus Executive Vice President, Region and Sales Europe, said: “We are delighted that easyJet will deploy this ground-breaking technology across its entire fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft. Reducing emissions from aviation is most successful , when we work together as one team – aircraft manufacturers together with airlines and air traffic control. By combining the use of DPO and CDA, easyJet will further reduce its petroleum consumption and optimize the flight routes of all its flights.”

Current initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions

Today’s announcement comes on top of a number of initiatives that the airline is already undertaking to reduce CO2 emissions.

Eg. adapted to standard operating procedures to allow single engine taxi on arrival and departure. Also, the use of APUs is reduced. Advanced weather information is also used to improve navigation performance, and the engine is washed to remove debris, improving air turbine performance.

The airline is also implementing new software and artificial intelligence to identify additional operational efficiencies. easyJet uses SkyBreathe®, a solution developed by OpenAirlines that leverages information from the cloud, artificial intelligence and big data. This allows airlines to save fuel and reduce their CO2 footprint by up to 5 percent.

This is complemented by aircraft efficiency collaborations with key stakeholders such as Airbus, Collins Aerospace, NATS and Eurocontrol. easyJet has this year received Airbus’s first A320neo, equipped with the latest Satellite Landing System (SLS) technology. It helps improve the efficiency of its operations and reduce fuel consumption. In addition, the airline continuously collects feedback from its pilots on how further CO2 savings can be achieved and implemented.

Common European Sky

Modernization of the airspace is a crucial element in reducing CO2 emissions today. This can only be achieved with the help and political will of governments and stakeholders and is essential for the entire industry. If implemented, it would be the most important source of CO2 reduction today. More direct flight paths lead to shorter flight times, which reduces fuel consumption and the resulting emissions.

easyJet works with stakeholders and public authorities across Europe to advocate for airspace modernisation. Examples of this are projects such as the Single European Sky and the UK Airspace Modernization Programme. For example, Single European Sky has expressed the ambition to achieve 10 percent CO2 savings from European aviation. easyJet is also a founding member of the European ATM Research (SESAR) 3 Joint Undertaking. This is a European public-private partnership that accelerates the creation of the digital European airspace.

In addition, easyJet recently became the first airline evaluation partner for IRIS. This is a ground-breaking air traffic management program led by Inmarsat. Together with the European Space Agency and Airbus, they are the world leaders in satellite communications and are paving the way for more efficient air traffic. They do this by acting as a resource for systems that minimize flight delays, save fuel and help reduce the environmental impact of air travel.

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