easyJet’s fuel-efficient aircraft set for take-off

Budget airline easyJet is preparing for this week's launch of a new aircraft which could deliver emissions reduction and fuel efficiency savings of up to 15% compared to existing generation models.

The A320neo aircraft was delivered to easyJet by manufacturer Airbus at a ceremony in Toulouse yesterday (14 June). The Luton-based airline confirmed that its new model would reduce noise by 50% on take-off and landing and provide a cost per seat saving of up to 7% over the current A320.

“This benefit will enable easyJet to continue to offer our famous low fares helping to connect people across Europe for work and play,” easyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall said.

“We strive to do this in the right way by reducing our carbon and noise impact on the environment and local communities.”

Easy does it

easyJet has ordered 100 A320neo aircraft, which have 186 seats, compared to the 156-seat A319 planes in its fleet. The first commercial flight will leave London Luton Airport on Friday, with the aircraft set to operate short-haul flights to Amsterdam, Madrid and Edinburgh.

The new generation of aircraft will help easyJet to further reduce emissions which have dropped since 2000 from 116.2g to 79.98g, a fall of more than 30%. easyJet last month revealed it will strive to reduce emissions further to 72g by 2022, which would create a 38% reduction against 2000 levels.

The company has been exploring numerous ways to increase efficiency and deliver carbon savings. The airline is developing hybrid planes that utilise hydrogen fuel cells to capture energy when the aircraft brakes on landing, to be used when taxiing. easyJet will also provide an airline operators perspective to Wright Electric, which is developing an aircraft that runs on electric batteries.

Sustainable aviation

Emissions from the aviation sector, which account for around 2% of global emissions, are expected to skyrocket and even the global aviation climate deal agreed last year has been criticised for its lack of ambition.

With a lack of robust policies to guide them, airlines are taking it upon themselves to explore ways to lower emissions. Virgin Atlantic is trialling a ‘game-changing’ alcohol-to-jet (AtJ) fuel, and last year Alaska Airlines operated the first commercial jet powered by forest biomass.

British airports are also starting to make the case for sustainable aviation. A rapid transition to 100% renewable energy and the carbon-neutral expansion to a third runway are among the key commitments made by Heathrow Airport in its new CSR strategy. edie recently sat down with the firm’s director of sustainability and executive director of expansion to find out whether the new strategy makes the airport’s controversial expansion worthwhile.

George Ogleby

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