Happy Earth Week! To celebrate our planet and help you become a more sustainable traveler, we have prepared a lot of fun activities including an eco-giveaway you can enter at earthweek.appintheair.com. Read on for our monthly report on the aviation industry’s progress towards carbon neutrality.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has published a decision which proposes that air operators be allowed to reduce the amount of fuel carried during operations, thereby reducing the CO2 emissions of the overall flight and environmental impact of the flight. The amount of additional fuel required can be optimized, while continuing to ensure high safety levels, due to improved risk assessment, calculations based on better data and better decision making.
One of the busiest airports in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States has just joined Airport Carbon Accreditation. The airport started off their engagement with the programme at Level 1 ‘Mapping’.
Bordeaux Airport announced plans to enhance the airport’s ecological transition by initiating various environmental projects in 2022, including installation of photovoltaic panels — reducing emissions by 4%, the launch of energy consumption metering plan, a study of geothermal pumping systems to replace natural gas use and electrification of vehicle fleet. The airport is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
British Airways is to begin powering selected flights with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), following the delivery of its first supply of SAF from Phillips 66 Ltd. The airline said that the partnership “will be enough to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions by almost 100,000 tonnes, enough to power 700 net zero CO2 emissions flights between London and New York on its fuel-efficient Boeing 787 aircraft”.
Finnair has signed a letter of intent for a commitment to cooperate with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to bring CO2 emissions reduction targets in line with the UN Paris Climate Agreement. Finnair sets the target within the next two years. Finnair uses an extensive toolkit to achieve emission reductions. The key tools reducing emissions include reducing the weight of aircraft, developing fuel-efficient flight methods, using sustainable fuels (SAF) and offsets, and engaging customers in reducing aviation emissions.
The third-largest Spanish airline, Air Europa, is the latest aviation player to jump on the booming NFT-trend. It has also become the very first to release a non-fungible token ticket series, so-called NFTickets. To do so, it has joined forces with TravelX, a company building what it coins the industry’s first ‘blockchain-based distribution protocol’. Together with TravelX, Air Europa will release ten NFTs in partnership with acclaimed digital artists, using the carbon-neutral Algorand platform to mint the NFTickets.
According to a report commissioned by five airline associations, the CO2 benefits of shifting short-haul flights to rail are limited. The report aims to highlight the fact that the picture is far more complex than “simply shifting from one transport mode to another”. Firstly, the potential reduction in emissions that could be achieved depends on the nature of the flight ban. If flights of up to 500km are banned, as is being proposed in a number of European countries, there is a potential saving of around 3–5% of intra-EU emissions or 1–2% of EU aviation emissions, resulting in a reduction of less than 1% of EU transportation emissions overall. However, if short-haul air travel is banned, some passengers may choose to travel by car instead, which could lead to higher CO2 emissions. In addition, there is unlikely to be sufficient rail capacity to accommodate all air passengers on a given route, which means that new rolling stock would need to be procured and new rail lines would need to be built.
One Tree Planted, our reforestation partner, offers 39 (!) different ways to celebrate Earth Month. Since we are all about traveling and exploring new things, our favorite is touring local waterfalls. But planting trees is always top-of-mind. If you are ready to take hands-on action, join a planting event near you this April!