Airbus Delivers First Ever A321neo to Virgin America

sustainable aviation

CFM engines boost fuel efficiency by at least 15%

Hamburg, Germany, April 20, 2017: Airbus has delivered the first-ever A321neo. The latest generation aircraft powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines was handed over to U.S. airline Virgin America, an all-Airbus operator, at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany.

“After Virgin America having been the first customer signing for the A320neo back in December 2010, we are today delighted to deliver the first A321neo to them,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and President Commercial Aircraft. “With our largest, latest, most fuel efficient NEO Single Aisle aircraft we are turning a new page. The new A321neo powered by next generation CFM LEAP-1A engines guarantees new levels of efficiency and longer range to its operators, greater comfort to the flying public and less emissions and noise to the airport communities. Thanks to its cutting edge technologies it is today the most eco-sensitive Single Aisle aircraft available.”

The A320neo significantly reduces noise levels, generating only half the noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft. Equipped with fuel-saving Sharklet wingtip devices nitrous oxide (NOX) emissions are 50 percent below regulatory requirements as outlined by the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). In addition, the aircraft with LEAP-1A engines is proven to deliver at least a 15% fuel savings compared to Virgin America’s current generation aircraft, which is equivalent to cutting 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions with each plane every year.

“We have been with Virgin America from the beginning and we are excited to launch this new chapter in that relationship,” said Gael Meheust, President and CEO of CFM International. “The LEAP-1A has done extremely well in its first months of commercial service. It is proving unprecedented levels of fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility while maintaining the level of reliability Virgin America has come to expect from CFM. We think they will be very pleased with all this engine has to offer.”

The A321neo is the largest member of the A320neo Family. It covers the entire market, from high density to long-range thin routes. There are currently over 1,300 units on order.

“We are honored to be the first operator of this high in-demand aircraft,” said Virgin America President Peter Hunt, speaking at the ceremony attended by Virgin America teammates, Executives from Airbus, CFM and the aircraft lessor GECAS. “The new A321neo – the third member of the Airbus A320 Family to join our Virgin America fleet – will allow us to further reduce our unit costs and enable us to further reduce our carbon emissions.”

“Increased operational efficiency, productivity, and state-of-the-art technology — this winning combination makes the A321neo an attractive investment for leasing companies like GECAS who are committed to meeting customers’ operational needs while providing the latest technology and a solid return on investment,” said Alec Burger, President and CEO at GECAS.  “The low operating costs and reliability of the LEAP powered A320neo Family make it a strong asset in GECAS’ portfolio.”

The new A321neo will become the largest aircraft in Virgin America’s fleet, featuring 185 seats – a 24 percent higher capacity at same comfort levels than its current A320s. The aircraft is expected to enter service on May 31, 2017 with its inaugural flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Virgin America currently operates a fleet of 63 Airbus A320 family aircraft comprised of A319ceo and A320ceo aircraft powered by CFM’s CFM56-5B engines.

As first announced in April 2016, Virgin America was acquired by Alaska Air Group in December 2016.

sustainable aviation

Source: Airbus

New ICAO Aircraft CO2 Emissions Standard

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

One Step Closer To Final Adoption

Montréal, February 8, 2016: An eagerly awaited aircraft CO2 emissions standard made further and important headway today at the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The new environmental measure was unanimously recommended by the 170 international experts on ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), paving the way for its ultimate adoption by the UN agency’s 36-State Governing Council.

“It is particularly encouraging that the CAEP’s recommendation today responds so directly to the aircraft technology improvements which States have forged consensus on at recent ICAO Assemblies,” highlighted Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the ICAO Council. “Every step taken in support of ICAO’s full basket of measures for environmental improvement is an important one, and I am sure the Council will be deeply appreciative of the this latest CAEP achievement.”

Under the CAEP recommendation, the new CO2 emissions standard would not only be applicable to new aircraft type designs as of 2020, but also to new deliveries of current in-production aircraft types from 2023. A cut-off date of 2028 for production of aircraft that do not comply with the standard was also recommended. In its current form the standard equitably acknowledges CO2 reductions arising from a range of possible technology innovations, whether structural, aerodynamic or propulsion-based.

The proposed global standard is especially stringent where it will have the greatest impact: for larger aircraft.  Operations of aircraft weighing over 60 tons account for more than 90% of international aviation emissions. They also have access to the broadest range of emissions reduction technologies, which the standard recognizes.

But great care was also taken by the CAEP to ensure that the proposed Standard covers the full range of sizes and types of aircraft used in international aviation today. Its solution therefore comprehensively encompasses all technological feasibility, emissions reduction potential, and cost considerations.

“The goal of this process is ultimately to ensure that when the next generation of aircraft types enter service, there will be guaranteed reductions in international CO2 emissions,” President Aliu stressed. “Our sector presently accounts for under two percent of the world’s annual CO2 emissions, but we also recognize that the projected doubling of global passengers and flights by 2030 must be managed responsibly and sustainably.”

Source: ICAO

Boeing Supports ICAO Aircraft CO2 Emissions Standard

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Real progress to reduce aviation CO2 emissions

Seattle, February 8, 2016: Boeing today released the following statement: “Boeing commends the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) for reaching agreement on the first global standard for aircraft carbon-dioxide emissions. This standard represents more than six years of work by a group of international experts from ICAO member states, industry and non-governmental organizations:

“Boeing is fully committed to meeting the new CO2 emissions standard announced by ICAO. This agreement represents real progress beyond the substantial industry achievements already made to reduce aviation emissions, with more steps ahead. The new standard is ambitious and will become part of the certification process applied to every airplane before delivery based on the ICAO schedule.

We have made significant investments to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of our products and will continue to do so. Environmental goals are aligned with our business goals, as greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions are top priorities for our commercial customers. We believe the ICAO standard will have the intended results of ensuring older aircraft are replaced by newer, more efficient aircraft that will further reduce fuel use and carbon emissions.

Our new commercial airplanes have been designed to meet and even exceed challenging emission requirements. The 787 Dreamliner family reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions by 20 to 25 percent compared to airplanes it replaces. The new 737 MAX, with first delivery expected in 2017, will reduce fuel use and emissions by 20 percent compared to the original Next-Generation 737. The 777X, with first delivery expected in 2020, will be the world’s largest and most fuel-efficient twin-engine jet. For other current or future models, we will make product development decisions based on a range of factors, including cost, certification requirements and market demand.”

Source: Boeing