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Emirates fleet more efficient than global airline average

Written by editor

The Emirates Group today announced the release of its first comprehensive environmental report, a study that revealed the airline’s carbon dioxide emissions efficiency was 26% better than the global

The Emirates Group today announced the release of its first comprehensive environmental report, a study that revealed the airline’s carbon dioxide emissions efficiency was 26% better than the global airline average.

Covering the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the audited report analysed environmental performance data from a range of Group activities, including airline operations, dnata’s cargo and ground handling businesses and a wide range of commercial activities on the ground – from engineering to catering.

The report’s aim is to understand the Group’s environmental impact, as well as identifying opportunities to improve and capture best practice across our 60,000 strong workforce.

In addition to the carbon dioxide emissions efficiency figure of 0.75kg per tonne-kilometre (TK) that was 26% better than IATA’s fleet average, other significant highlights in the report include:

– An airline fuel efficiency figure of 4.12 litres per 100 passenger-kilometres (PK).

– 3.3 million kilograms of on-board waste recycled by dnata and Emirates Flight Catering.

– dnata Freight Gate 5 opened as the first carbon neutral warehouse in the Middle East.

– 175,000 trees planted at the carbon neutral-certified Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa.

– Fauna and flora improvements via the sponsorship of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, which represents over 5% of Dubai’s land area.

– Benefits from the opening of the Dubai Metro station at Emirates Group Headquarters.

– Winner of the 2010 Middle East’s Responsible Tourism Award at the World Travel Awards.

“Emirates takes its commitment to the environment very seriously and strives to be an industry innovator and leader. The report is more than a snap-snot of the performance of the Group, it will act as a future measure of success in all we do,” said Andrew Parker, Senior Vice-President, Public, Industry, International and Environmental Affairs. “Be it the airline, dnata’s passenger handling, or at any of our facilities, Emirates is focused on maximising eco-efficiency to minimise our environmental footprint.”

One example of The Emirates Group’s commitment to fuel efficiency is the recent participation of Emirates Airline in the INSPIRE (Indian Ocean Strategic Partnership to Reduce Emissions) programme, with two test flights (one from Dubai to Brisbane, the second from Perth to Dubai). The aim of the INSPIRE initiative is to gauge the improved environmental impact of a ‘perfect flight’ – minimising on-ground delays, using expedient taxi- and runways, conducting gradual climb and descent paths – while flying direct optimum routes based on existing meteorological and airspace conditions.

The results from these two flights alone resulted in a combined total saving of over 6,250 litres of fuel and more than 16,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. Since 2003 Emirates has worked with the Air Traffic Service providers for flights to Australia and the emission savings of such operations over a five year period equate to potential savings of 9.6 million litres of fuel and 24,268 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. In 2011, based on an estimated 63 flights per week, approximate savings for the year would be in the order of 2.47 million litres of fuel and 6,850 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
“The INSPIRE flights are only one example of our continuous efforts to reduce our environmental impact and our commitment to a greener future,” explained Captain Alan Stealey, Divisional Senior Vice President Flight Operations. “These flights illustrate that Emirates’ long-term strategy to address the environmental concerns of our customers, our partners and our industry has become a part of the everyday operating fabric of our organisation, not just something we recognise once a year.”

The two INSPIRE flights are only the latest example of Emirates’ participation in such initiatives. Emirates conducted its first reduced-emissions test flights back in 2003, and has worked with other industry stakeholders to establish the ‘flexible tracks’ initiative over the airspace of Africa, Asia and Australia.

Emirates acknowledges that the implementation of endeavours such as INSPIRE would not be possible without the support of all the parties involved, including air traffic management organisations in Australia, India, the Maldives, Oman, Sri Lanka and especially in the UAE. The programme involves close cooperation between a range of stakeholders, including the Dubai Airports Company, Dubai Air Navigation Services, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and the Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre, DGMAN Oman, the Airports Authority of India, the Maldives Airport Company, Sri Lanka Airport and Aviation Services, Airservices Australia (enroute, and in particular Brisbane and Perth air traffic control), ATNS South Africa, Brisbane Airport, Perth Airport, and the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport – as well as countless other staff and agencies.

A large part of Emirates’ environmental achievements can be attributed to its young and eco-efficient fleet and enhanced operational procedures in the air. However, the Group recognises that the environmental performance of ground operations is also critical. Activities such as dnata ground handling, cargo, engineering, catering and staff accommodation, have all been taken into account in this first reporting period.

With over 60,000 staff worldwide, and operations in six continents, the prospective scope of the report was enormous. As such, the focus of this first report was placed on The Emirates Group activities in Dubai, which encompass the majority of the operations – in terms of contribution to the company’s overall carbon footprint. The Group intends to broaden the scope of the report in subsequent reporting periods to include as many of its overseas operations. There are still many challenges ahead, but we are confident that the Group’s environmental performance will continue to improve, and will demonstrate that the Emirates Group is an industry leader in more ways than one.