Tue 21 July 2009 – According to its fifth annual sustainable development report just published, Air France-KLM says that despite the current economic crisis, the group is continuing to pursue initiatives, including fleet renewal, to cut CO2 emissions in all its activities in order to minimize its impact on climate change. Over the past year it made great efforts to reduce fuel consumption, it says, driven both by rocketing fuel consumption and concerns over the environment. Air France’s fuel consumption in 2008 was 3.9 litres per 100 passenger-km, slightly better than the previous year and made savings of 146,000 tonnes of CO2 in the period April 2008 to March 2009. Air France-KLM has won the Environment category in Airline Business magazine’s recent Airline Strategy Awards.
The report indicates that Air France-KLM group flight CO2 emissions in 2008 were just over 27.5 million tonnes, an increase of 1.6% over the previous year. Broken down, Air France and its subsidiaries were responsible for 17,360,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2008, an increase of 0.1% over 2007, with KLM Group’s CO2 emissions at 10,146,000 tonnes, a bigger increase over 2007 of 4.2%. At a global level, Air France-KLM generates around 4% of the air transport sector’s global CO2 emissions.
Air France and KLM both have in place plans for reducing fuel consumption. The Air France ‘Fuel Action Plan’ and the KLM ‘Weight & Fuel Plan’ are targeting four goals: optimizing airspace, improving aircraft performance by weight reduction, adjusting fuel loads and optimizing flight procedures. Air France’s plan has identified 85 ways of saving fuel which are estimated to cut CO2 emissions by over 350,000 tonnes a year from 2012 and over 500,000 tonnes from 2020. KLM’s plan, launched last year, sets a target of reducing emissions by 1% annually, 0.5% through weight reductions and the other 0.5% through optimizing efficient fuel use.
Ahead of the climate change talks in Copenhagen in December, the group says it supports industry initiatives to design a global sectoral approach for aviation through its participation in contributions developed by the Association of European Airlines and IATA, and its active involvement in the launch of the Aviation Global Deal group.
The group also says it is committed to the search for sustainable alternative fuels, having joined a number of industry initiatives over the past year, including the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group. Air France is taking part in the SWAFEA (Sustainable Way for Alternative Fuel and Energy in Aviation) study launched by the European Commission earlier this year. In 2008, KLM took part in a pilot project that delivered the first samples of pure algae kerosene and this year is pursuing further scaling and exploration of energy intensity and the economic business case.
On the ground, Air France is continuing its replacement of ramp vehicles and equipment with electrically-powered versions. By March 2009, 37% of its equipment is electrically powered, with a target of 60% of the ground fleet to run on electricity by 2020.
Air France has just taken delivery of its first fully electric-driven heavy goods vehicles with zero greenhouse gas emissions. It has brought these vehicles into service at six airports: Basel-Mulhouse, Bastia, Montpellier, Nantes, Paris-Orly and Strasbourg. Air France will use the vehicles, for example, for supplying its aircraft with drinking water.
The vehicles, weighing 16 tonnes, were specially developed for use on airport ramps by Renault for the structure and bodywork and by PVI for the drivelines used to propel the vehicles. The electric energy is provided by silent batteries that produce no carbon emissions.
In the past year, Air France-KLM has launched a new aircraft dismantling activity to manage the end-of-life-cycle for aircraft and 11 Air France A320-100 aircraft are expected to be dismantled by June 2011.
Air France and KLM are looking to reduce the weight of aircraft fixtures and equipment
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