Wizz Air recently announced that it would be rolling out numerous new fuel-saving initiatives in a drive to become a cleaner and greener airline. The airline calls itself “Europe’s fastest-growing and greenest airline.”
2020 was meant to be a year when airlines focused on sustainability. However, while environmental footprints remain a concern, understandably a strong focus is currently onhealth and safety of the flying public.That’s not to say that airlines have forgotten about their environmental commitments, however. After all, Lufthansa is presently operating Airbus A350s from its Frankfurt hub purely because of the improved fuel efficiency.
Reducing their CO2 footprint
European low-cost carrier Wizz Air recently announced that it is implementing new steps to ensure that its operations are even less polluting. This has included actions such as using a reduced flap configuration during take-off and landing.
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While flaps allow an aircraft to fly safely at slower speeds, they increase the drag experienced by the plane. The more drag an aircraft experiences, the less fuel-efficient it is. In simple terms, the more drag there is, the more power and therefore fuel burn is needed to overcome it.
Of course, when calculating if it is possible to reduce the flap configuration, pilots must consider the flight conditions and safety aspects. However, reducing flap configurations could save around 15kg of fuel on each approach. This means that approximately 2,000 tonnes of fuel can be saved each year, equating to 6,000 tonnes of emissions avoided.
Commenting on the change, Wizz Air’s Chief Operations Officer, Heiko Holm, said,
“We are proud to have the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger / kilometre amongst the European airlines and are committed to reducing our environmental footprint further. Every take-off and landing is an opportunity to save fuel and every flight phase is reviewed for the smallest optimisation, having a significant impact on carbon emissions.”
What else is Wizz doing?
Reducing the flap setting on approach and departure isn’t the only way that Wizz is trying to reduce its fuel consumption. The airline is aiming to cut its emissions by 33% over the next ten years.
The airline is looking to remove unnecessary fuel through optimizing its flight plans. Additionally, Wizz wants to develop more specific performance factors. This will enable the airline to calculate fuel loads more efficiently. Finally, the European low-cost carrier is looking to create a new model to estimate the zero fuel weight of its aircraft with more accuracy. Introducing more A320neo family aircraft to the fleet will help with the airline’s efficiency goals.
What do you make of Wizz Air’s initiative to cut its carbon emissions by 33% over the next decade? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!