Air France reports a 4 per cent fuel efficiency improvement following 2008 commitment on environmental impact
Mon 5 March 2012 – Air France has decreased its fuel consumption from 3.96 litres to 3.81 litres per passenger per 100km between 2008 and 2011, a reduction of almost 4 per cent. The airline is aiming for an average fuel consumption of 3.7 litres by the end of 2012, a commitment Air France undertook in early 2008 when its then CEO signed the Grenelle Environment Agreement with French government ministers. The agreement pledged to lower CO2 emissions on flights to its French overseas territories by 20 per cent and on domestic flights by 5 per cent over a five-year period. Last October, the airline claimed a world fuel efficiency record of 2.2 litres per passenger per 100km on a flight between Toulouse and Paris Orly, thanks to a combination of biofuel usage and flight navigation procedures. Meanwhile, group partner KLM has announced a new series of biofuel flights between Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris CDG airports.
According to Air France, emissions on its routes to overseas territories had been reduced by 27% in 2011 compared to 2005, due to a gradual replacement of its Boeing 747 fleet by more fuel efficient 777-300ER aircraft.
Other CO2 reduction measures undertaken, reports the airline, include reducing the weight of on-board equipment and more efficient flight procedures in collaboration with the French civil aviation authority (DGCA).
The Grenelle agreement also committed to reduce noise levels lower than those in 2005 and Air France reports a 30% overall noise energy reduction compared with 2005.
Since 2008, Air France has also been contributing to a major project to fight deforestation in Madagascar that aims to develop new protected areas, reforesting and restoring damaged areas of forest, and training local communities in the development of new farming methods and encouraging them in land management.
In partnership with the GoodPlanet Foundation and WWF, the airline has invested €5 million (S6.6m)) in the project that covers over 500,000 hectares of forest. A recently conducted initial report independently carried out by environmental consultancy ONF International found that so far 350,000 hectares of new protected areas have been created, 25,000 hectares have been restored or reforested and 6,000 families have benefited from the transfer of management for over 200,000 hectares. The project has also helped, says Air France, to advance the scientific measurement of forest carbon stocks in Madagascar.
The airline says it remains committed to the development of sustainable biofuels without environmental or social impacts. The Toulouse-Paris efficiency record flight carried a biofuel mix of used cooking oil supplied by SkyNRG, which is also supplying a similar blend to KLM. The Dutch airline has recently started a series of four daily biofuel flights between Amsterdam and Paris, amounting to a total of 200 flights in all. KLM played a key role as the launch partner of SkyNRG two years ago and has been involved in aviation biofuels research since 2007.
Air France-KLM has recently been recognised as the air transport sector leader for the seventh year in a row in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.