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May 20, 2024
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Today Airbus and Air Canada are performing North America’s first “Perfect Flight” over international borders. The goal is to cut CO2 emissions by more than 40% compared to a regular flight. The commercial flight on an A319 flying from Toronto to Mexico City (AC991) combines the use of a modern, state-of-the-art aircraft, powered by sustainable biofuel, guided by streamlined air traffic management procedures and uses best practice operations to under-pin the industry’s four pillar strategy to tackle carbon emissions.

AC991 is taking the Secretary General of ICAO, Raymond Benjamin, to Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

AC991 is dubbed as the “Perfect Flight” because:

  • The A319 is the most eco-efficient aircraft family in its segment.
  • Use of sustainable bio-fuel blend (a 50% blend) made from used cooking oil supplied by SkyNRG.
  • Optimized routing and flight altitude. In agreement with ATC authorities, AC991 will fly the most direct route, using the most efficient vertical flight profile and applying a Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) into Mexico City to save fuel and limit noise.
  • Combination of several eco-efficient operational procedures such as single engine-taxiing, external aircraft cleaning for improved aerodynamics, light weight cabin equipment and a neatly tailored flight plan

Andrea Debbané, vice president of Environment Affairs at Airbus, explained this flight is the first time an OEM has combined all best practices currently available.  The 40%+ goal will be broken down after the flight to be able to assess how much each of the deployed technologies accounted of the CO2 savings.

Airbus is demonstrating its road map to lower emissions can deliver a significant environmental impact. OEMs have to play an leading role in supporting commercial aviation to ensure airlines continue to burn less fuel, create less noise and reduce the impact of flight on the environment. The aviation industry has a goal to have carbon neutral growth by 2020. Airbus supports this target. It would be interesting to see if such positive improvements have any impact on the EU’s ETS.

Airbus is focused on three areas: developing state of the art airframe and engine technologies, exploit better air traffic control (Airbus ProSky) and supporting airlines with green navigation and systems (like biofuels). Which is why AC991 on Monday is so important – all these functions are on display and ideally demonstrate how much of an impact these have together in creating a significantly cleaner commercial aviation industry.

4 thoughts on “Airbus and Air Canada make “Perfect Flight”

  1. Bombardier Aerospace and Porter Airlines today joined forces to launch the inaugural flight of a series of biofuel flights which will deliver Raymond Benjamin, the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

    Setting new environmental standards, the Q400 aircraft uses 30 to 40 per cent less fuel and produces 30 to 40 per cent fewer emissions on routes where it has replaced similar-capacity, older jets. Overall, the Q400 aircraft is 15 decibels quieter than ICAO Chapter 4 noise standards; raising the bar for the entire industry.

    [As an aside, if Air Canada was serious about reducing emissions, they should order the C Series.]

  2. Bottomline air pollution from aviation is growing at 3-4% per year globally. Without innovation in aerospace such as the newest engines and light materials it would be 4-5% per year.

    Depressing and unsatisfying for the industry. Therefor positive innitiatives from the industry emphasising the serious efforts to preserve our environment are used to balance public perception. Good things happen, we can’t avoid bad things. Wondering if I pulled the plug from my tv set, standy uses power, while flying to lovely Bali..


  3. My final comment was if Air Canada was serious about reducing emissions, they should order the C Series. The Bombardier C Series has the same seating capacity as the A-319 and the range to fly Toronto to Mexico City but is 26,000lbs lighter than the A-319 so burns less fuel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-Series The CSeries aircraft contain 70% advanced materials comprising 46% composite materials and 24% aluminium-lithium which allows for a 15% lower seat-mile cost and a significant reduction in maintenance costs. The PurePower PW1000G engine cuts carbon emissions by over 3,000 metric tonnes — equal to planting over 700,000 trees — per aircraft per year. And Pratt & Whitney’s TALON™ X combustor slashes NOx exhaust gases 50% below CAEP/6. So, if Air Canada was serious about reducing emissions, they should order the C Series.

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