Sustainable Flight Operations

Flight operations at glance

Weight reduction

AFKLMP Cargo welcomes every innovative idea to reduce the weight of its aircraft. The lighter an aircraft is, the less fuel it consumes. Since every kilo counts in the air, we are continuously working to reduce weight on board. We use lighter cargo nets, containers and pallets. For instance, our cargo nets are 50% lighter than standard pallet nets and save 795 liter of kerosene per year. This accounts for 2.5 tons of CO2 reduction per year per net.

Weight Reduction

Another example of our commitment to reduce weight is our innovative painting system. This system allows us to reduce the paint weight of the aircrafts by 15%. Curious how this works? Please see the video below.

Flight optimization

Pilots of the Group are trained to apply the most fuel-efficient procedures possible: flight plan precision, speed adjustments and optimized procedures, landing configurations, and, on the ground, taxiing with one engine. For example:
  • Air France implemented actions to improve the forecast of reference flight times, taking into account the most favorable and most unfavorable conditions (mainly weather/wind and taxiing). These actions have improved the punctuality and reduced fuel consumption by limiting the need for acceleration.
  • Air France deployed a new tool to support the flight planning for each flight, aiming at coordinating the measures to reduce fuel consumption, and optimizing fuel consumption and fuel use. During the flight, pilots use connected tools that allow them to optimize flight levels and routes, and to have up-to-date weather information.
  • Fuel saving projects of KLM involved the implementation of various route improvements and the recontouring of fan blades on the aircraft to optimize engine fuel consumption.

Furthermore, we optimize the performance of our aircrafts with:
  • Better use of ground-based engine replacement equipment for air-conditioning and aircraft power, and greater investment in environmentally friendly equipment.
  • Innovations in all areas of maintenance to improve aircraft performance. This includes the engine water wash and the washing of the aircraft exterior to optimize aerodynamics, and the engine removal cycles. In 2019, KLM introduced a mobile solution to execute the engine water wash at the platform in addition to washing at the hangar. This mobile alternative can save up to 24,000 tonnes CO2 per year.

Fleet renewal

The most impactful way to reduce the carbon footprint is to invest in a more fuel efficient fleet. The Air France KLM group focuses on simplification and rationalization to make the fleet more competitive while its transformation is being pursued with the arrival of more modern, high performance aircraft with a significantly lower environmental impact. The Covid 19 public health crisis has accelerated the phase out of the most polluting aircraft which are the least adapted to the environmental route map; A340 and A380 for Air France and B747 for KLM. In 2020, the average age of the aircraft in the Group´s fleet was 12.1 years.

For more information on the Group´s fleet see Universal Registration Document 2021 Section 1.4.

Carbon offsetting

Since 2012, all intra-European flights have been subject to the application of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme for greenhouse gas emission quotas (EU-ETS) (for the 2020 figures, see Universal Registration Document 4.3.6)).

The global market based mechanism established by the ICAO, known as CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation), aims to limit the CO2 emissions from international aviation by targeting carbon neutral growth relative to the 2020 baseline. In 2020, due to the impact of the public health crisis on aviation, the baseline was changed to 2019. For the implementation of CORSIA, the Air France – KLM Group contributed to the calculation of the CO2 emission baseline data as of January 1, 2019.

The implementation of CORSIA offsetting will begin with a first phase from 2021 to 2026, based on the States volunteering to contribute: i.e. currently 88 countries, representing around 77% of international aviation activity.

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