Most passengers would be willing to pay a fee for moresustainable aviation
Keilaranta, December 21, 2017: Aviation is the fastest growing means of transport. In 2016, 3.8 billion people travelled by air, and according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the number of passengers is predicted to reach 7.2 billion (!) by 2035. With this growth comes the reality that carbon dioxide (CO2)emissions from aviation will grow substantially. Carbon neutral growth in aviation is possible, but requires that airports, solutions providers, airlines, authorities, local community and passengers all unite and contribute to more sustainable travelling.
According to a recent survey, 67% of US passengers, and 53% of European travelers, are concerned about the environmental impacts of air travel. The survey found that over 50% of passengers consider it important that their airline goes above and beyond regulations to be environmentally friendly. Furthermore, the survey found that most passengers are willing to pay a fee for Renewable Jet Fuel, and that this may even positively impact airline and airport preference.
“As aviation currently makes up roughly 2% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, making the transition towards carbon neutral growth is an absolute imperative,” says Paul Paoletta, Head of Neste Aviation Solutions.
To raise awareness and facilitate dialog in reducing the aviation industry’s carbon footprint, Neste has opened its decarbonizingaviation.com online hub for all stakeholders in aviation. The site features videos, blogs, articles and news across hot topics in the decarbonization of aviation debate, from waste materials as sustainable jet fuel for aircraft to changing legislation to passenger perspectives.
“People are travelling more than ever, and the aviation industry is growing. It is crucial that this growth happens responsibly. Neste is working relentlessly to help airports and all aviation stakeholders to take advantage of sustainable low-carbon fuels in their operations. Besides sustainable low-carbon fuels, we are opening other opportunities for more sustainable aviation solutions through our Neste Green Hub solution. Decarbonizingaviation.com is an online platform for all aviation stakeholders who are working for the goal of carbon neutral growth in aviation,” continues Paoletta.
Neste is the world’s largest producer of renewable fuels from waste and residues alongside being the leading producer of renewable diesel, with an annual production volume of 2.6 million tons. By eliminating bottlenecks, this total capacity will be increased to 3 million tons by 2020. Renewable jet fuel is one of Neste’s growth areas. Neste has set a target that the proportion of the company’s renewable products sales outside the road traffic fuels increases to 20% by 2020.
Partnership launches E-Fan X hybrid-electric flight demonstrator
London, November 28, 2017: Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens have formed a partnership which aims at developing a near-term flight demonstrator which will be a significant step forward in hybrid-electric propulsion for commercial aircraft.
The three companies together announced the groundbreaking collaboration, bringing together some of the world’s foremost experts in electrical and propulsion technologies, at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.
The E-Fan X hybrid-electric technology demonstrator is anticipated to fly in 2020 following a comprehensive ground test campaign, provisionally on a BAe 146 flying testbed, with one of the aircraft’s four gas turbine engines replaced by a two megawatt electric motor. Provisions will be made to replace a second gas turbine with an electric motor once system maturity has been proven.
“The E-Fan X is an important next step in our goal of making electric flight a reality in the foreseeable future. The lessons we learned from a long history of electric flight demonstrators, starting with the Cri-Cri, including the e-Genius, E-Star, and culminating most recently with the E-Fan 1.2, as well as the fruits of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration with Siemens, will pave the way to a hybrid single-aisle commercial aircraft that is safe, efficient, and cost-effective,” said Paul Eremenko, Airbus’ Chief Technology Officer. “We see hybrid-electric propulsion as a compelling technology for the future of aviation.”
The E-Fan X demonstrator will explore the challenges of high-power propulsion systems, such as thermal effects, electric thrust management, altitude and dynamic effects on electric systems and electromagnetic compatibility issues. The objective is to push and mature the technology, performance, safety and reliability enabling quick progress on the hybrid electric technology. The program also aims at establishing the requirements for future certification of electrically powered aircraft while training a new generation of designers and engineers to bring hybrid-electric commercial aircraft one step closer to reality.
As part of the E-Fan X program, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens will each contribute with their extensive experience and know-how in their respective fields of expertise:
ð Airbus will be responsible for overall integration as well as the control architecture of the hybrid-electric propulsion system and batteries, and its integration with flight controls.
ð Rolls-Royce will be responsible for the turbo-shaft engine, two megawatt generator, and power electronics. Along with Airbus, Rolls-Royce will also work on the fan adaptation to the existing nacelle and the Siemens electric motor.
ð Siemens will deliver the two megawatt electric motors and their power electronic control unit, as well as the inverter, DC/DC converter, and power distribution system. This comes on top of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration between Airbus and Siemens, launched in 2016, which aims at development and maturation of various electric propulsion system components and their terrestrial demonstration across various power classes.
Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce, Chief Technology Officer, said: “The E-Fan X enables us to build on our wealth of electrical expertise to revolutionize flight and welcome in the third generation of aviation. This is an exciting time for us as this technological advancement will result in Rolls-Royce creating the world’s most powerful flying generator.
“Siemens has been driving innovation in core technology fields at full speed,” said Roland Busch, Chief Technology Officer of Siemens. “In April 2016 we opened a new chapter in electric-mobility with the collaboration with Airbus. Building up electric propulsion for aircraft, we are creating new perspectives for our company and also for our customers and society. With the E-Fan X partnership, we now take the next step to demonstrate the technology in the air.”
Among the top challenges for today’s aviation sector is to move towards a means of transport with improved environmental performance, that is more efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels. The partners are committed to meeting the EU technical environmental goals of the European Commission’s Flightpath 2050 Vision for Aviation (reduction of CO2 by 60%, reduction of NOx by 90% and noise reduction by 75%). These cannot be achieved with the technologies existing today. Therefore, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens are investing in and focusing research work in different technology areas including electrification. Electric and hybrid-electric propulsion are seen today as among the most promising technologies for addressing these challenges.
E-Fan X hybrid-electric technology demonstrator based on a BAe 146 is anticipated to fly in 2020 with one of the aircraft’s four gas turbine engines replaced by a two megawatt electric motor
Airline excited about the continued progress in the renewable fuels
Keilaranta, November 13, 2017: Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, and American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, have entered into an agreement to explore opportunities to further reduce American’s environmental footprint through the use of Neste’s renewable fuels. One goal of the cooperation will be complementary efforts to facilitate acceptance and commercialization of High Freeze Point HEFA (HFP-HEFA) renewable jet fuel which is currently under consideration for approval by ASTM International, a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of voluntary consensus standards for a range of industries.
“Together, Neste and American Airlines are evaluating in-flight and on-the-ground opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation and collaboration,” says Kaisa Hietala, Neste’s Executive Vice President of Renewable Products. “We share a common view that innovative low-carbon solutions are needed to help the aviation industry meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, and renewable jet fuel is an important part of the solution.”
“We are excited about the continued progress in the renewable fuels industry,” said Steve Johnson, American’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs, who announced the cooperation between Neste and American Airlines at the Airports Going Green conference this week in Dallas. “We believe commercially viable renewable fuels have the potential to play an important role in helping American further reduce emissions beyond our significant investment in fuel efficient aircraft.”
The aviation industry has set ambitious targets to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from air transportation, including carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and beyond, and a 50 percent reduction of net aviation CO2 emissions by 2050. Currently, sustainable renewable jet fuel offers the only viable alternative to fossil liquid fuels for powering commercial aircraft.
American Airlines has already taken significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint with an unprecedented fleet renewal program. By the end of 2017, American will have invested more than $18 billion and introduced 496 new aircraft into its fleet since the merger, while retiring 469 older aircraft – giving American the youngest fleet of the U.S. network carriers.
Boeing 737 showing the colors of American Airlines Photo: American Airlines
Neste’s renewable jet fuel technology is proven. Its quality standards, aircraft engine performance, and storage stability and integrity have been tested and followed in thousands of commercial flights. Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel(TM) provides distinct advantages to its customers by decreasing their environmental footprint. Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel(TM) is made from renewable and sustainable raw materials and significantly reduces life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions.
Higher efficiency, less noise and fewer emissions!
Cleveland, November 7, 2017: An aviation renaissance, one focused on energy efficiency and economic impact, is on the horizon, and it’s changing how engineers look at aircraft power and design.
Although the aircraft industry continues to adopt innovative technologies, which are making current aircraft more energy efficient, there’s new interest in exploring alternative propulsion systems and energy sources. This new interest presents an opportunity to develop cutting-edge technologies that will dramatically reduce fuel usage, while opening up potential new markets and business opportunities for American companies and carriers.
“I feel we are at a tipping point in commercial aviation,” says Jim Heidmann, manager of NASA’s Advanced Air Transport Technology Project (AATT). “We are exploring and developing game-changing technologies and concepts for aircraft and propulsion systems that can dramatically improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact and accelerate the introduction of new aircraft.”
To provide better efficiency with less noise and fewer emissions, NASA is working with the aviation industry and academia to develop unique vehicle concepts that will use different fuselage shapes; longer, skinnier and more blended wings; innovative materials and components; and highly-integrated propulsion (engine) systems.
NASA aims to accelerate the final testing and validation of these advanced concepts and technologies through its New Aviation Horizons initiative. This initiative outlines the development of a series of experimental planes (X-planes), which will achieve the agency’s aircraft-level metrics for fuel consumption, emissions and noise.
A turboelectric aircraft configuration is among several candidates for future subsonic transport X-planes that will prove the benefits of these advanced technologies in piloted flight within the next decade.
STARC Contrast: Smaller engines provide more power
One of the most pivotal areas of commercial aviation’s transformation centers around propulsion, and a team of engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland is conducting cutting-edge research into high-pressure-ratio compact gas turbine engines, low-emission combustors, electric-enhanced propulsion and boundary-layer ingesting (BLI) engines.
“We believe global competition and international certification standards will drive reduced fuel consumption and more efficient aircraft and propulsion concepts that may use cleaner forms of energy,” said Heidmann. “We also see the potential emergence of alternative modes of commercial transport, such as on-demand and flight service between rarely-traveled locations, both of which would represent new markets and potential beneficiaries of revolutionary propulsion technologies.”
Some of the key propulsion system advances the NASA Glenn team is pursuing converge in an aircraft concept study called STARC-ABL (single-aisle turboelectric aircraft with an aft [at the rear of the aircraft] boundary-layer propulsor).
The STARC-ABL concept, developed by NASA’s Jim Felder and Jason Welstead, is under consideration as one of NASA’s future X-planes. It looks similar to the proven tube-and-wing aircraft you see every day. But, unlike those aircraft, a significant amount of electrical power, approximately three megawatts, is used for turboelectric propulsion, in addition to the electrical operation of subsystems like flight controls, avionics and de-icing.
Imagine a Boeing 737, but with slightly smaller engines. Not a dramatic design departure, but STARC-ABL’s tail features a “T-tail” horizontal stabilizer configuration with a BLI ducted fan on the tail, which is driven purely by electric power derived from generators mounted to the underwing engines.
The wing-mounted engines supply 80 percent of the thrust required during takeoff and 55 percent at cruise, while the tail-mounted, all-electric BLI turbofan accounts for remaining thrust. Researchers predict a potential fuel consumption improvement of roughly 10 percent using this innovative system.
Next Step: Collaboration leads to solutions
While NASA is preparing for initial ground tests of a subscale STARC-ABL concept later this fall at NASA’s Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT) at Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, several vehicle-level development challenges remain: How to balance aerodynamic efficiency, appropriately optimize the engines and aft BLI fan, validate the BLI benefits, store energy, compensate for additional weight, and meet safety and operational requirements.
To further investigate the challenges surrounding the hybridization of commercial aircraft, NASA is looking to industry and academic expertise for solutions.
NASA recently awarded 12-month contracts to Boeing, teamed with Georgia Tech, and Liberty Works, with ES Aero, to develop preliminary single-aisle, 150-seat aircraft designs using promising electric-enhanced propulsion and vehicle configuration concepts.
“During the 12-month cycle, we’ll work with the teams to take a deep dive into their hybrid and turboelectric aircraft concepts,” said Amy Jankovsky, NASA’s AATT subproject manager. “These concepts will provide in-depth, detailed analyses of the propulsion and electrical systems, and we will recommend technology development paths for their concepts.”
The year-long study will also reveal new development approaches and any unforeseen technological hurdles, as well as any safety and flight certification challenges that could get an aircraft like STARC-ABL or other next-generation, hybrid or turboelectric aircraft concepts aloft within 20 years.
And while those proposed industry concepts could look like STARC-ABL, the real objective is to transform commercial aviation by using new propulsion technologies that meet NASA’s aircraft-level requirements of energy use, life-cycle carbon, landing-and-takeoff emissions and noise.
Ready for Takeoff: Development, testing, flight
Final reports from the industry study will outline hybrid-electric and conventional single-aisle aircraft concept designs, technology roadmaps for the major electrical systems and aircraft subsystems, and the evaluation of the concepts’ performance against NASA aircraft metrics.
“As we move forward, we’d like to further develop the powertrains for these and any other concepts that may prove viable by building and testing them at NEAT and other NASA facilities,” said Jankovsky. “We’ll identify key performance parameters for components such as motors, generators and power electronics, and any wind tunnel, altitude and other ground tests and flight demonstrations that are appropriate.”
Ultimately, NASA hopes to contribute to a next-generation aircraft that will substantially reduce fuel burn, noise and emissions. Many researchers feel we are only a few steps away from a major aviation revolution, and that a commercial aircraft using NASA-developed, hybrid-electric or turboelectric propulsion technology could be flying to an airport near you in the not too distant future.
Heathrow: We Can Reduce Freight Emissions and Still Increase Our Cargo Capacity
Pledge to be a sustainability leader and a better neighbor to local communities
Heathrow, October 12, 2017: Speaking at the BCC International Trade Summit, Heathrow’s Non-Executive Chairman Lord Deighton announced a new ‘Blueprint for Sustainable Freight’ plan to reduce the impact of freight vehicles around Heathrow. Lord Deighton’s speech is the first time the airport has publicly addressed the challenge of the environmental impacts of cargo and set out its plans to ensure that even as Heathrow and freight volumes grow with expansion, overall airport-related traffic on the road does not increase in number compared to today.
Heathrow is the UK’s biggest port by value – responsible for handling over 30% of the country’s non-EU exports by value – more than the ports of Southampton and Felixstowe combined. Heathrow’s role as a trading hub will grow as expansion takes place, with cargo capacity set to double with the addition of a third runway. Currently, the majority of freight movements – 2.75 million freight vehicle movements each year- are made to support the airport’s cargo operations.
The ten practical steps set out by Lord Deighton in his speech today detail how freight operations can be more efficient, responsible and sustainable in the future. These proposed steps include:
Using innovation through tools like a load consolidation “ Heathrow Cargo Cloud” app for local forwarders and the trial of low emission freight vehicles and geo-fencing technology to reduce emissions on local roads;
Investments in airfield charging points to install an ultra-low emission zone for vehicles on-airport;
Modernizing cargo infrastructure at the airport to allow for more airside transshipments, consolidation points away from airport local roads and a new cargo village that reduces unnecessary vehicle movements;
Working with local authorities to address congestion points with a Code of Conduct for operators, and a joint strategic freight plan for local roads.
The steps outlined today show how the airport is delivering against the commitments set out in Heathrow 2.0, the airport’s sustainability strategy. Along with Heathrow’s ambitious plans to increase public transport use, and push forward on incentives like car sharing and taxi back-filling these steps will ensure that there is no more airport-related traffic on the roads compared to today with expansion.
New Heathrow cargo concept: delivering benefits for both, the environment and the economy Photo: Heathrow Airport
Sustainable fuels will play an increasingly critical role in global aviation
Heathrow, September 18, 2017: British Airways has entered a partnership to design a series of waste plants that convert household waste into renewable jet fuel to power its fleet.
The partnership, with Velocys, a renewable fuels company, is part of the airline’s plans to develop long-term, sustainable fuel options.
The first plant will take hundreds of thousands of tons of household waste per-year, destined for landfill or incineration, including nappies, plastic food containers and chocolate bar wrappers, and convert it into clean-burning, sustainable fuels. This will contribute to the airline’s commitment to reduce net emissions by 50 per cent by 2050.
As well as helping the airline industry reduce its carbon emissions this initiative will also significantly reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. The UK still sends more than 15 million tons of waste per year to landfill sites which not only damages our natural environment but also releases further greenhouse gases (GHG) affecting climate change.
The planned plant will produce enough fuel to power all British Airways’ 787 Dreamliner operated flights from London to San Jose, California and New Orleans, Louisiana for a whole year. It would be the first plant of this scale. The airline plans to supply its aircraft fleet with increasing amounts of sustainable jet fuel in the next decade.
The jet fuel produced at the plant will deliver more than 60 per cent greenhouse gas reduction, compared with conventional fossil fuel, delivering 60,000 tons of CO2 savings every year. This will contribute to both global carbon emissions reductions and local air quality improvements around major airports.
During the past week the Department for Transport has published changes to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO), and for the first time, sustainable jet fuel will be included in its incentive scheme. These changes to the RTFO are designed to promote sustainable aviation. Once implemented, they are expected to provide long term policy support for this market.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “Sustainable fuels will play an increasingly critical role in global aviation, and we are preparing for that future. Turning household waste into jet fuel is an amazing innovation that produces clean fuel while reducing landfill.”
Making biofuel available, cost-effective and practical for all airlines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Seattle, July 19, 2017: Carbon reduction leaders Carbon War Room (CWR) and SkyNRG join with the Port of Seattle to announce recommendations for long-term funding mechanisms that could supply all airlines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) with sustainable aviation biofuels.
The results are outlined in a study that reviews a broad spectrum of airport funding sources to cover the higher cost of biofuel, as well as biofuel supply chain infrastructure investments. The study, published today, was conducted by CWR and SkyNRG, in partnership with the Port.
“The information contained in this study will help us take the next steps toward our goal of making biofuel available, cost-effective and practical for all airlines at Sea-Tac,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. “It wouldn’t have been possible to get to this point without the momentum provided by our partners, industry leaders and community innovators.”
The two biggest challenges facing broader adoption of sustainable aviation fuel at Sea-Tac are the higher cost compared with petroleum jet fuel, and the constraints imposed by state and federal regulations on use of airport funds.
The report, titled ‘Innovative Funding for Sustainable Aviation Fuel at U.S. Airports: Explored at Seattle-Tacoma International’, reveals the financial tools available to U.S. airports, and outlines legal constraints and financial impacts of each tool. The report found that no single tool could generate enough funding to cover the higher cost of biofuel, and recommended combining a number of funding tools.
“Until we reach fossil-price parity, we need co-funding mechanism to close the price gap between conventional jet fuel and sustainable aviation biofuels. Sea-Tac demonstrates that airports can play a key role in helping find the right partners to cover the premium and accelerate the transition to secure a sustainable future for the aviation industry,” said Theye Veen, Chief Financial Officer of SkyNRG.
“We congratulate Sea-Tac on its leadership in showing that airport authorities are critical to the success of the aviation biofuel industry,” said Adam Klauber, Director of CWR’s Sustainable Aviation program. “We’ve proven that there are viable funding mechanisms for the widespread uptake of sustainable aviation fuel at Sea-Tac, and we hope that the study provides tools and ideas for other ambitious airports to consider in their sustainability initiatives.”
AltAir Fuels, based in California, is regularly producing aviation biofuels. The Port, as an economic development engine, is seeking ways to help grow the market. This initiative is one solution in the Port’s quest to find sustainable solutions that improve the health of our environment and community. Other Port successes include emissions reduction achieved by providing pre-heated and cooled air to aircraft parked at gates, use of electric ground support equipment, and conversion to green vehicles.
For further information, please download the report here.
About Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: Operated by the Port of Seattle, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA, KSEA) is ranked as the ninth busiest U.S. airport, serving nearly 45.7 million passengers and more than 366,000 metric tons of air cargo in 2016. With a regional economic impact of more than $16.3 billion in business revenue, Sea-Tac generates 171,796 jobs (109,924 direct jobs) representing over $2.8 billion in direct earnings and more than $565 million in state and local taxes. Twenty-four airlines serve 81 non-stop domestic and 24 international destinations.
About Carbon War Room: Carbon War Room (CWR) was founded in 2009 as a global nonprofit organization by Sir Richard Branson and a group of like-minded entrepreneurs. It intervenes in markets to accelerate the adoption of business solutions that reduce carbon emissions at gigaton scale. In 2014, CWR merged with and now operates as part of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). RMI engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.
About SkyNRG: SkyNRG is the global market leader for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), having supplied over 25 airlines on all continents worldwide. SkyNRG sources, blends and distributes SAF, guarantees sustainability throughout the supply chain and helps to co-fund the premium. At the same time, SkyNRG focuses on developing regional supply chains that offer a real sustainable and affordable alternative to fossil fuels. SkyNRG has its operations RSB certified and is structurally advised by an independent Sustainability Board in which WWF International, European Climate Foundation, University of Groningen and Solidaridad Network hold a seat.
Airbus A330 of Thomas Cook Airlines taking-off at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on the way to Manchester. Photo: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Industry leaders working together and flight testing aboard a 777 Freighter
Seattle, July 6, 2017: As part of the continuing effort to accelerate aerospace innovation, Boeing and FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the world’s largest express transportation company, will work together to fly the next ecoDemonstrator. Starting in 2018, a new Boeing 777 Freighter made for FedEx Express will test emerging technologies, such as propulsion advancements and flight deck innovations.
The ecoDemonstrator program, now in its fifth iteration, serves as a series of flying testbeds designed to improve the environmental performance and safety of future airplanes.
“The ecoDemonstrator program is focused on harvesting exciting new technologies that will benefit our airline customers, the flying public and the environment,” said Mike Sinnett, vice president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Product Development.
The collaboration on the newest ecoDemonstrator project is the latest in a 38-year relationship between Boeing and FedEx.
“FedEx is committed to developing and implementing innovative solutions that connect the world responsibly and resourcefully,” said David Cunningham, president & CEO, FedEx Express. “We’re proud to work with Boeing and use our 777 Freighter to play a key role in bringing future benefits to the entire aviation industry.”
This round of ecoDemonstrator testing includes installing a compact thrust reverser developed by Boeing designed to save fuel and reduce emissions, flight deck improvements that can improve efficient operations in and out of busy airports, and flying prototype airplane parts using cutting-edge manufacturing techniques that reduce material waste.
Flight testing is scheduled to last approximately three months before the airplane returns to the FedEx fleet.
Munich, July 4, 2017: From fiscal year 2017 on, large companies are required to publish social and environmental performance reports. A new law to that effect had been adopted by the German parliament in spring. Germany’s leading engine manufacturer started to disclose such information long before the law was passed. Since 2011, it has released annual sustainability reports outlining in detail how responsibly and sustainably the MTU Group goes about its business. Now MTU has published its 2016 Sustainability Report, the fifth of its kind. It combines the reports to the UN Global Compact and to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI G.4) standards and is the first to cover the activities of all of the MTU Group’s fully consolidated companies.
Lower fuel burn and CO2 and noise emissions are key objectives addressed by the technology of the geared turbofan, which would not have been possible without key components made by MTU. “So quite a significant contribution made by aviation to overcoming the global challenges, such as climate change and scarcity of natural resources, comes from us,” says MTU CEO Reiner Winkler. Meanwhile, orders have been received for over 8,000 PW1000G-family engines, which power the Airbus A320neo and other aircraft.
Sustainability does not only refer to the end products: At MTU, binding social and environmental standards have been integrated along the entire value chain – and this holds true both for its own production and for its cooperation with suppliers. The company has committed itself to promoting human rights, supporting fair working conditions, protecting the environment and fighting against corruption, and it engages in a whole variety of socially responsible activities. It moreover affords its employees opportunities for individual development, its work-life balance offerings allowing them to grow professionally while pursuing family or personal goals.
MTU’s non-financial indicators are assessed and awarded top ratings at regular intervals by rating agencies and independent experts. oekom research, one of the world’s leading rating agencies in the field of sustainable investment, has awarded MTU Prime Status (C+) overall. Since 2014, the company has been listed in the STOXX ESG Leaders family of sustainability indices as a leading company in the environment, social and governance categories.
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.