United Airlines Takes Delivery of Fuel Efficient 737 MAX 9

CO2 emissions significantly reduced compared with older generation aircraft

Chicago, April 23, 2018: United Airlines announced today that it has taken delivery of its first 737 MAX 9 aircraft from the BoeingDelivery Center in Seattle, WA. The new aircraft, which arrived right after Earth Day, reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions significantly compared with older generation aircraft. In honor of this more eco-friendly aircraft, United has given the MAX a new livery, similar to its fuel-efficient Boeing Dreamliner aircraft, so that employees and customers can easily recognize the plane and its superior fuel efficiency.

United expects to take delivery of two more 737 MAX 9 aircraft this month, and will have ten 737 MAX 9 aircraft by the end of 2018. As previously announced, the aircraft will enter United’s schedule June 7 with service between the airline’s hub at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport and five cities – Anchorage, Alaska; Austin, Texas; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Orlando, FL. and San Diego. The aircraft will operate on additional routes from Houston and Los Angeles International Airport starting June 29.

United Airlines and United Express operate approximately 4,600 flights a day to 354 airports across five continents. In 2017, United and United Express operated more than 1.6 million flights carrying more than 148 million customers. For more information, please visit united.com.

The Boeing 737 MAX 9 reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions significantly compared with older generation aircraft

Source: United Airlines

Bittersweet farewell to the ‘Queen of Skies’

United celebrated the retirement of the Boeing 747

San Francisco, November 7, 2017: United Airlines celebrated the retirement of the Boeing 747 with the recreation of the airline’s first 747 flight from San Francisco to Honolulu on July 23, 1970. Flight UA747 departed to Honolulu with more than 300 customers, employees and distinguished guests onboard. “The iconic 747 is a remarkably special aircraft that signaled a new era of air travel and was equally recognizable and beloved by our customers and crew alike,” said Oscar Munoz, CEO of United. “While today is bittersweet, we’ll continue to honor the Queen of the Skies’ game-changing legacy of connecting people and uniting the world with our next-generation of long-haul aircraft.”

Upon landing in Honolulu, local employees welcomed the aircraft with final festivities to close out the historic day, including remarks from United leaders and Hawaii State Representative Henry J.C. Aquino.

United 747s wrote history several times: On January 29-30, 1988,  Friendship One, a Boeing 747SP, set a new around-the-world air speed record of 36 hours, 54 minutes, and 15 seconds. This special flight raised $500,000 for children’s charities through the Friendship Foundation. Tickets cost a minimum of $5,000. Special guest passengers included astronaut and first man on the moon Neil Armstrong, famed test pilots Bob Hoover and Lieutenant General Laurence C. Craigie, and Moya Lear, the widow of Lear Jet founder Bill Lear.

In September 1996, a 747SP previously flown by United, was transformed into NASA’s/DLR’s  SOFIA, a Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, which carries a 17-ton, 8-foot-wide infrared telescope mounted behind an enormous sliding door.

During October 2017 United employees got a chance to say goodbye to the 747 when the aircraft went on a farewell tour with stops at each of the carrier’s U.S. hubs.

sustainable aviation

Flying into the sunset: United Airlines flew a Boeing 747 for the final time on November 7, 2017

Source: United Airlines

United Airlines and Audubon International Team Up to Protect Raptors at New York-Area Airports

Audubon

Relocating birds-of-prey to safer habitats and help reduce damage to aircraft

New York, July 24, 2017: United Airlines and its award-winning Eco-Skies program are teaming up with Audubon International, the not-for-profit environmental education organization dedicated to sustainable natural resource management, to protect raptors – including hawks, ospreys and owls – in and around New York-area airports and resettle the birds-of-prey at suitable golf course habitats where the species are more likely to thrive.

The United Eco-Skies Raptor Relocation Program, which the airline plans to launch at Newark Liberty International Airport later this month, will protect at-risk and threatened species such as the American kestrel by transporting the raptors to golf courses certified within the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. As the official airline of the PGA TOUR®, United is uniquely positioned to help identify suitable golf course habitats with Audubon International for relocation purposes and help inform the public on the importance of environmental sustainability.

Additionally, United and Audubon International will work closely with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which partners with other agencies to safely capture threatened birds at New York-area airports.

“Audubon International is excited to be working with United Airlines’ Eco-Skies program on the Raptor Relocation Program,” said Christine Kane, Audubon International’s executive director. “Thousands of golf courses across the world have adopted environmentally sustainable property management practices that support wildlife habitat through our Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. Bringing this all together to provide safe, high-quality habitat for raptors is a great success.”

“The presence of wildlife at our airports can pose a challenge to pilots operating commercial aircraft,” said Laura Francoeur, the Port Authority’s chief wildlife biologist. “The agency implements wildlife management measures to reduce these challenges, and we continue to work with our airline partners and organizations such as United and Audubon International to ensure safe operations while protecting nature.”

Audubon

Source: United

NASA: Prototype Air Traffic Tool Ready for Airborne Workout

sustainable aviation

New sustainable ‘Flight Deck Interval Management’ system to save fuel, flight time and money

 

Seattle, February 2, 2017: In a series of flights called Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration-1  (ATD-1), NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate is testing airborne flight deck interval management software with the help of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and leading aviation partners.

The month-long campaign involves three planes: a Boeing 757 and a business jet – either a Dassault Falcon 900 or an Embraer 170 – supplied by Honeywell, and a Boeing 737 provided by United Airlines. The aircraft are based at King County International and Seattle-Tacoma International Airports in Seattle, but the flight test will take place about 120 miles east, over Grant County International Airport.

After years of research and laboratory work, a full airborne demonstration of new technology and procedures aimed at improving air traffic flow into busy airports is on schedule to take off this month over Washington State.

The system is called Flight Deck Interval Management, or FIM, and its key benefit is that it will help air traffic controllers and pilots more precisely manage and safely shorten the time, or interval, between airplanes landing on a runway.

“All the pilots that are going to be flying the FIM operations have gone through the training modules and simulations. The equipment is all set and we’re ready to go,” said Sheri Brown, ATD-1 project manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia.

The research is intended to help airplanes spend less time in the air, save money on fuel, and reduce engine emissions – all the while improving schedule efficiency to help passengers arrive at their destination on time and avoid missing connecting flights.

FIM is the final piece of a suite of aircraft arrival technology developed under the ATD-1-program. Two other NASA-developed technologies from ATD-1 – Traffic Management Advisor with Terminal Metering and Controller Managed Spacing – together were already  delivered to the FAA in 2014 as a single tool known as Terminal Sequencing and Spacing (TSAS).

Information provided to air traffic controllers from TSAS will be combined with NASA-developed software that is at the heart of FIM. The result is guidance that directs pilots to fly at a certain speed and maintain a more precise spacing with an aircraft flying ahead of them all the way down to the runway.

“It’s a very simple ‘follow the leader’ operation that is easy to execute by the flight crew,” Sheri Brown said. During the course of the flight tests, researchers hope to complete some 80 runs involving three major flight scenarios:

  • flying at a cruise altitude of 35,000 feet,
  • descending from cruise altitude all the way down to the airport, and
  • making a final approach beginning about 15 minutes before touchdown.

The plan is to fly about five-and-a-half hours each weekday, testing up to five test scenarios during each daily sortie. The Honeywell 757 and United 737 will be equipped with the FIM system in its cockpits, where its pilots will “follow the leader” during test runs behind the Honeywell business jet, which will provide its speed and position information to the other aircraft.

sustainable aviation

(l to r) Jason McMahon, Helmuth Eggeling and Scott Nyberg — lead test pilots from Honeywell Aerospace’s Flight Ops engineering organization – take part in final checkouts of the ATD-1 technologies and flight plans.
Credits: NASA / David C. Bowman

If all goes well with the demonstration, the entire FIM system – including software and hardware – will be turned over to the FAA by the fall of 2017, where the FAA will continue to evaluate and test it before making a decision to certify its use.

Source: NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate / Jim Banke, Lillian Gipson

United Airlines Honored as ‘Eco-Airline of the Year’

sustainable aviation with IASA

Highest recognition from ‘Air Transport World’ magazine for its leadership in environmental action

Chicago, January 24, 2017: For the second time since launching its industry-leading Eco-Skies program, United Airlines was named the Eco-Airline of the Year by Air Transport World (ATW) magazine. The award recognizes an airline in global commercial aviation for its environmental leadership as demonstrated by consistent and impactful environmental action within the company and in the industry. The magazine awarded United with the top honor for multiple initiatives in 2016 and prior years, including becoming the first U.S. airline to begin using commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel for regularly scheduled flights, marking a significant milestone in the industry by moving beyond demonstrations and test programs to the use of low-carbon biofuels for ongoing operations.

“Innovation and sustainability are twin engines that drive our progress as the most environmentally conscious airline in the world,” said Oscar Munoz, United’s chief executive officer. “From pioneering investments in biofuels to increasing efficiency and reducing waste to supporting a single global market based measure for carbon emissions, United is committed to innovating solutions that we hope will become the expectation for our industry, not the exception. And while we take great pride in this important recognition for our efforts, the measure of our success is the opinion of our children and grandchildren who will look back on our efforts and say that we lived up to our obligations to them in protecting the planet for future generations.”

United’s Eco-Skies program represents the company’s commitment to the environment and the actions taken every day to create a sustainable future. In addition to incorporating sustainable biofuel into its operations at Los Angeles International Airport, United’s recent environmental achievements include:

  • Investing $30 million in U.S.-based alternative aviation fuels developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., which represented the single largest investment by any airline globally in alternative fuels.
  • Becoming the first U.S. airline to repurpose items from the carrier’s international premium cabin amenity kits and partnering with Clean the World to donate hygiene products to those in critical need.
  • Partnering with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to demonstrate the potential benefits of new satellite-based technology for instrument landings that enable aircraft to use fuel more efficiently on arrival and land at normal rates in challenging weather.
  • Continuing to replace its eligible ground equipment and service vehicles with cleaner, electrically powered alternatives, with 47 percent of the fleet converted to date.
  • Becoming the first airline to fly with Boeing’s Split Scimitar winglets, which reduce fuel consumption by up to 2 percent; United is the largest Split Scimitar winglet customer today.
  • Being the only U.S.-based airline named to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s “Leadership” category for its environmental disclosure, with an A- Climate score in 2016.
  • Sourcing illy coffee’s internationally certified supply chain of farmers who earn above-market prices in exchange for meeting quality and sustainability standards for the finest coffee.
  • Offering Eco-Skies CarbonChoice, the airline industry’s only integrated carbon offset program for corporate business travel and cargo shipments.

Additionally, as part of United’s commitment to operating an environmentally friendly and responsible airline, the carrier added a carbon footprint measurement to its 2017 Global Performance Commitment. United is committing to achieving a lower gross carbon footprint than its two largest U.S.-based competitors this year, as measured by carbon dioxide-equivalent per available seat-mile. If United does not meet the goals of its 2017 Global Performance Commitment, the airline will compensate eligible corporate accounts.

sustainable aviation with IASA

Equipped with new LEAP-1B engines from CFM International and improvements such as the Advanced Technology Winglet, the 737MAX reduces fuel burn and CO2 emissions by 13 percent

For more information on United’s Eco-Skies commitment to the environment, visit www.united.com/ecoskies.

Source: United Airlines

United Airlines: Regularly Scheduled Flights Using Sustainable Biofuel

United to integrate sustainable aviation biofuels into its ongoing operations at LAX hub

Los Angeles, March 11, 2016: United Airlines made history today by becoming the first U.S. airline to begin use of commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel for regularly scheduled flights with the departure of United Flight 708 from Los Angeles International Airport. The launch marks a significant milestone in the commercial aviation industry by moving beyond demonstration flights and test programs to the use of advanced biofuels for United’s ongoing operations.

United has agreed to purchase up to 15 million gallons of sustainable biofuel from AltAir Paramount over a three-year period. The airline has begun using the biofuel in its daily operations at LAX, storing and delivering it in the same way as traditional fuel. To highlight this achievement, United will operate flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco with the dedicated use of AltAir Paramount renewable fuel for two weeks, while also integrating this fuel into its regular operations at the airport.

“Today’s historic launch of regularly scheduled service utilizing advanced biofuels represents a major next step in our ongoing commitment to operate sustainably and responsibly,” said Angela Foster-Rice, United’s managing director of environmental affairs and sustainability. “United is a leader in the advancement of alternative fuels, and, along with our partners at AltAir Paramount, we are taking action every day to minimize our impact on the environment and explore new ways to improve efficiency.”

“Los Angeles is a global leader in sustainability, so it’s no wonder that the first U.S. flights to use commercial-scale, renewable jet fuel are taking off from our airport,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “LAX and United Airlines have broken new ground with fuel that reduces carbon emissions by as much as 60 percent when compared to standard jet fuel. Today, we set a new standard for sustainability in aviation — an example I hope the rest of the industry will follow in the coming years.”

AltAir Paramount’s Renewable Fuel Technology

United has collaborated with AltAir since 2009 with a common goal of bringing an ongoing source of sustainable aviation biofuels to an airport. AltAir retrofitted portions of the Paramount Petroleum Corporation – a subsidiary of Alon USA Energy – refinery in Paramount, California, to create a 35 million gallon per year advanced renewable fuel unit, bringing new clean energy jobs to the Los Angeles area.

The facility converts sustainably sourced non-edible, natural oils and agricultural wastes into jet fuel and is expected to provide a greater than 60 percent reduction in lifecycle carbon emissions when compared to fuel produced from traditional petroleum. AltAir’s fuel meets the same standard as traditional jet fuel, ASTM D1655. In addition, AltAir is pursuing certification under the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) – a global sustainability standard and certification system that recognizes biomass and biofuel producers that adhere to stringent social responsibility and environmental criteria.

“AltAir Paramount and United are working together to lead the industry in the use of sustainable and homegrown biofuel,” said Bryan Sherbacow, AltAir’s president and chief operating officer. “Today’s launch demonstrates our commitment to helping United reduce its operational impact on the environment and advance the use of alternative fuels.”

United and Sustainable Aviation Biofuels

In 2009, United became the first U.S. carrier to perform a biofuel demonstration flight. In 2011, United became the first U.S. carrier to operate a commercial advanced biofuel flight. Last year, United announced an historic $30 million equity investment in U.S.-based alternative fuels developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., a pioneer in the development and commercialization of converting municipal solid waste into low-cost sustainable aviation biofuel. The Fulcrum investment represents the single largest investment by a U.S. airline in alternative fuels and sets United apart in the aviation industry in the advancement of aviation biofuels.

United also recently received the World Bio Markets (WBM) Award for Excellence in Advanced Biofuels. For more information on United’s commitment to environmental sustainability, visit united.com/ecoskies.

United Biofuel

About United: With more than 700 mainline aircraft United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 342 airports across six continents. In 2015, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers.

About AltAir Paramount: AltAir Paramount is a 35 million gallon per year renewable fuels company that operates at Paramount Petroleum Corporation’s refinery in Paramount, CA. AltAir is an innovator in the renewable fuels sector, providing a drop-in replacement to conventional fuels. AltAir Paramount is a subsidiary of Alon USA Energy with its partners being Vandewater Capital Holdings and New Energy Capital.

Source: United Airlines