Airberlin’s emissions savings efforts recognised as it becomes the first airline to win German environmental award
Airberlin 737-800 fitted with CFM56-7BE engines
Mon 12 Sept 2011 – Germany’s second-largest airline Airberlin has been awarded an ÖkoGlobe 2011 for “pioneering innovations” in controlling carbon emissions through its ‘Eco-efficient Flying’ corporate programme. The ÖkoGlobe awards are now in their fifth year and this is the first time it has gone to an airline, in this case under the ‘Vehicle innovations in public transport’ category. The Airberlin programme was started in 2008 and the airline claims its fuel consumption of 3.6 litres per 100 revenue passenger kilometres is the most efficient compared to other European scheduled carriers. The airline says aviation tax will amount to €180 million this year, “considerably thwarting” efforts to modernise and reduce the age of its fleet.
The ‘Eco-efficient Flying’ programme involves 40 different inter-departmental measures relating to fuel-saving technology and flight operations and procedures. Examples include onboard weight reduction, including lighter seats, a paperless cockpit, trolleys made of reduced weight aluminium and new carpets, which are estimated to have saved 5,000 tonnes of aviation fuel. Air crew have also been trained in flying procedures designed to reduce both pollution and noise.
However, continuous fleet modernisation and streamlining of the fleet structure have provided the most significant contribution to improving the carrier’s environmental performance. In 2010, the last Boeing 737-300s, 757s and 767s were retired. With emissions savings of 34,300 tonnes in 2009 compared to the previous year, further savings of 45,700 tonnes were made in 2010, which corresponds, says Airberlin, to the carbon emissions of 300 flights between Düsseldorf and New York by an Airbus A330.
Last month, Airberlin introduced into its fleet the first Boeing 737-800 aircraft fitted with the new advanced technology CFM56-7BE engine type, which combined with other modifications, can reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 2%. The 737 replacement programme alone is expected to save around 9,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
The airline says it is expecting to drive down fuel consumption still lower in 2011 to 3.5 litres per 100 RPKs.
“Airberlin is very proud to be awarded the ÖkoGlobe. This underlines the numerous efforts undertaken for the purpose of making flying as environmentally compatible as possible,” commented Tim Haferl, Corporate Director Flight Operations.
The award was the decision of a panel of six judges chaired by Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer from the University of Duisberg-Essen, with projects being assessed in terms of sustainability combined with ecological, economic and social factors.