Saving aircraft fuel during the climb and cruise phases of a flight is a major opportunity to reduce aviation CO2 emissions

Geneva | September 22, 2020– SITA, the global IT provider for the air transport industry, is partnering with start-up Safety Line to help pilots and airlines limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and operational costs by reducing fuel consumption of aircraft at key flight stages.

A flight can be roughly divided into three phases: climb, cruise and descent. Safety Line, a young French company that specializes in predictive big data solutions for airlines and airports, has made it its mission to help save aircraft fuel and reduce COemissions during all these flight phases with a software suite called OptiFlight. The focus currently lies on the climb-out – the most fuel-consuming phase of a flight – and the cruise phase.

Improving the cruise phase of a flight

Safety Line’s software solutions for the cruise phase, OptiSpeed, OptiDirect and OptiLevel, collectively called OptiCruise, have been integrated in SITA’s widely used eWAS Pilot mobile application, which is part of SITA FOR AIRCRAFT’s ‘Digital Day of Operations’ portfolio. eWAS Pilot, used by 50,000 pilots of commercial airlines, business jets and cargo airlines, provides accurate 4D weather forecasts and real-time updates from various sources to warn about weather hazards such as thunderstorms, lightning, clear air turbulence, strong winds, icing and even volcanic ash.

Safety Line’s OptiCruise allows pilots and airlines to achieve significant fuel savings and carbon emission reductions. OptiSpeed shows pilots the fuel and time impact of speed variations with the objective of on-time arrival at the best fuel/time ratio while OptiDirect recommends shortcuts based on historical flight data and indicates possible fuel and time savings. OptiLevel advises pilots on the best initial flight level and cruise level changes, taking tailwinds and headwinds into account.

 Improving the climb phase of a flight

As part of the new partnership and through the ‘Digital Day of Operations’ portfolio, SITA now also offers Safety Line’s OptiClimb software. OptiClimb uses tail-specific machine learning performance models in combination with 4D weather forecasts, to recommend customized speed changes at different altitudes for each climb. The software predicts fuel burn in tens of thousands of possible flight scenarios and then issues recommended climb speeds to pilots ahead of each flight.

Safety Line data shows that climb fuel savings of 5-6% are possible for each flight without affecting passenger safety or comfort. On a yearly basis, this could reduce CO2 emissions by several thousands of tons and operational costs by several million dollars, depending on the size of the airline fleet. Safety Line estimates that 5.6 million tons of CO2 could be avoided if all airlines in the world were to use OptiClimb.

Technology and industry collaboration for more sustainable aviation

Sébastien Fabre, CEO for SITA FOR AIRCRAFT said: “We at SITA continue to seek smarter ways to use existing and new technologies and collaborate with partners in the air transport industry with the goal of making airline operations more efficient and environmentally friendly. The partnership with Safety Line is another important step for us that will enable airlines to embrace the digital shift that is needed to reinvent the operation of aircraft. It is about adopting more sustainable and cost-effective practices.”

Sustainability and a sharp focus on cost-efficiency, along with safety and security will remain the top priorities for airlines in the COVID-19 era.

Pierre Jouniaux, Founder and CEO of Safety Line said: “We are delighted to partner with SITA, because pilots and airlines can now easily access our smart technology through SITA FOR AIRCRAFT’s ‘Digital Day of Operations’ portfolio and work towards more sustainable aviation. We look forward to delivering further innovation through this collaboration to save fuel and improve cost-efficiency at every stage of flight.”

15 A350 XWB deliveries already dispatched to Cathay Pacific all with jet fuel blend

Toulouse, France | June 1, 2017– Showing its strong commitment towards eco-efficiency, Airbus becomes the first aircraft manufacturer to offer its customers the option of delivering new jets using a blend of sustainable jet fuel.

The 15th A350-900 for Cathay Pacific departed Toulouse on June 1st, bound for Hong Kong, with a 10 percent blend of sustainable jet fuel in its tanks. Since the first delivery in May 2016, all of Cathay Pacific’s A350s have been delivered in this configuration.

The biofuel delivery flight concept, originally devised by Cathay Pacific in 2015 is now in full operation and this latest delivery flight confirms that the supply chain set up a year ago by Airbus and Total is functioning correctly, from the fuel production, through an integrated management at its Saint-Martin Toulouse site and to the customer delivery.

“This is a major step for Airbus and a first for the regular delivery of new production aircraft. It enables us to demonstrate that aviation biofuels are today a reality. We now target to expand this initiative to all our delivery sites, close to our customers,” said Frederic Eychenne, Head of New Energies at Airbus.

The first delivery flights from Hamburg, Germany and Mobile, US, using this type of biofuel are planned as of 2018. Since 2016, Airbus has offered this option for its delivery flights from Toulouse.

The aim is to continue reducing the carbon footprint of each flight starting with the aircraft delivery. Eychenne said: “Right from the first day of operation, an airline can clearly demonstrate its aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, thus helping to meet the commitments of the international civil aviation community.”

Through its brand new design with the latest cutting-edge technologies, the A350 XWB has a lower fuel burn and therefore lower CO2 emissions than the aeroplane it replaces, so when sustainable jet fuels are included as part of the operation, the net CO2 emissions reduction factor becomes even greater.

As part of its environmental strategy, Airbus intends to continue its efforts by collaborating with all stakeholders in the biofuels sector. “Through this partnership with Cathay Pacific and Total, we have demonstrated that it is possible to set up supply chains for fuels with a low carbon footprint,” Eychenne added. “This initiative confirms Airbus’ commitment to environmental efficiency and its support toward international aviation’s emission reduction targets.”

SEATTLE, July 13 – Boeing (NYSE: BA) and members of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, an airline-led industry working group, today announced that several leading air carriers have been accepted as members to the group. Existing members welcome the new group members Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, TUIfly and Virgin Blue.

Current airline members include Air France, Air New Zealand, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Cargolux, Gulf Air, Japan Airlines, KLM, SAS and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Boeing and Honeywell’s UOP, a refining technology developer, are associate members.

Since its launch in the fall of 2008, the User Group has established a foundation of airlines, environmental organizations, research projects and practices and principles that can help accelerate the commercialization and availability of sustainable biofuels.

User Group members have pledged to work through the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels (RSB), a global multi-stakeholder initiative, consisting of leading environmental organizations, financiers, biofuel developers, biofuel-interested petroleum companies, the transportation sector, developing-world poverty alleviation associations, research entities, and governments. All RSB and User Group members agree that working across sectors, interests and regions is the best approach to ensure the next generations of biofuels are developed in a sustainable manner.

Working through User Group representatives, aviation industry input is being included in “Version 1” RSB principles and standards, which will be the first widely reviewed and accepted set of international standards for sustainable biofuel production. These standards will be tested, improved and tailored via future User Group and RSB stakeholder efforts and verified through peer-reviewed research and development collaboration.

These strategic efforts by User Group members and RSB stakeholders are focused on making renewable fuel sources available that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while lessening commercial aviation’s dependence on fossil fuels and potentially reduce aviation sector exposure to fuel price volatility.

In addition to previously announced research projects on algae and jatropha curcus the group will also launch a sustainability assessment of halophytes, a class of plants that thrive in saltwater habitat, later this year. That effort will assess lifecycle CO(2 )emissions and socio-economic impacts. Additional details will be announced closer to the project launch date. All of these sustainability assessments will be subject to scientific peer review and used by the RSB process to guide improvements to “Version 1.”

“Aviation is stepping up and addressing its environmental and fuel challenges and the work being done by these industry leaders is at the forefront of that effort,” said Billy Glover, managing director, Environmental Strategy for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Tremendous technical progress has been demonstrated over the past several years, and as we move closer to approval to use these advanced generation fuels, we are rapidly developing sustainability practices and conducting ongoing research to ensure we remain on the right path.”

To be eligible for membership, group members must subscribe to sustainability criteria that stipulate the following:

Jet fuel plant sources should be developed in a manner that is non-competitive with food and where biodiversity impacts are minimized; in addition, the cultivation of those plant sources should not jeopardize drinking water supplies.

Total lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from plant growth, harvesting, processing and end-use should be significantly reduced compared to those associated with jet fuels from fossil sources.

In developing economies, development projects should include provisions or outcomes that improve socio-economic conditions for small-scale farmers who rely on agriculture to feed them and their families and that do not require the involuntary displacement of local populations.

High conservation value areas and native eco-systems should not be cleared and converted for jet fuel plant source development.

For more information, please visit: www.safug.org.