Norwegian Air Shuttle is leading the way when it comes to optimizing its aircraft’s flight paths, in a way so as to cut down its carbon footprint. The Oslo based airline has been using the latest weather forecasting technology provided by Swedish weather forecasting company AVTECH Sweden AB to help optimize aircraft flight paths.
Since 2018 Norwegian Air Shuttle has been able to cut its carbon footprint by up to 200,000 tons by optimizing flight paths in order to save fuel.
It’s all about the weather
Using AVTECH’s Aventis Cruise Optimizer weather predictor Norwegian now has the opportunity to reduce the airline’s CO2 emissions by a further 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes annually. The newly upgraded weather forecasting platform analyses more data than the previous version by calculating the optimum cruising altitude based on the prevailing winds and type of aircraft.
By calculating the type of aircraft and its weight based on fuel and the number of passengers the system is able to produce the most economically viable routes. The system also provided pilots with real-time up to date information regarding the weather allowing them to optimize routes while in the air.
When talking about the weather forecasting system in a recent press release Manager of Fuel Saving at Norwegian Stig Patey said:
“During the test project, there was a marked efficiency improvement in the planning of flight paths which resulted in further fuel- and emissions reductions. Each kilogram of fuel saved makes a difference. At Norwegian, we’re actively working to implement new technology in our modern and fuel-efficient fleet to continue reducing emissions.”
Flight shame started in Scandinavia
Unfortunately for Norwegian Air Shuttle the Scandinavian airline is right at the forefront of the flight shame movement that has seen a decline of 4% in the number of people flying in Sweden.
The term “flight shame” or “flygskam” originated in Sweden in 2017 when singer-songwriter Staffan Lindberg together with opera-singer Malena Ernman (the mother of climate activist Greta Thunberg), pledged to give up flying.
Since then, other passengers have signed up to a no flying pledge that has seen an increase in rail travel throughout Europe. Other than Scandinavia, the number of people flying in Europe has never been higher, with low-cost airlines offering fares well below what it would cost to travel any other way.
More people are going to fly
This trend is only likely to continue as new long-range single-aisle aircraft like the Airbus A321XLR allows European low-cost carriers the ability to offer transatlantic flights at bargain prices.
When you add Southeast Asia and the United States into the mix, where they do not have an efficient high-speed rail network (other than China), the general prognosis is that more people than ever will be taking to the skies.
And while we can applaud Norwegian Air Shuttle for being able to optimize its carbon footprint, it is worth remembering that their real motive for optimizing routes is making money and not saving the planet.