China Airlines introduces new fuel efficiency improvement software and starts CO2 labelling of in-flight meals
China Airlines A340-300 equipped for climate monitoring (photo: CAL)
Tue 20 Nov 2012 – Taiwan’s China Airlines (CAL) has signed a five-year agreement to use GE Aviation’s OnPoint Fuel & Carbon Solutions software and fuel consulting expertise to help the carrier improve its fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. By identifying and tracking operational improvements, CAL anticipates its fuel spend could be reduced by two to three per cent. With fuel accounting for around 30 per cent of annual expenses and an increasing necessity to comply with carbon regulations, airlines are increasingly turning to such management systems to help reduce both costs and emissions. In a separate move, CAL has started to label in-flight meals with their carbon footprint as well as calorie content on flights from Taipei to Frankfurt. The airline, which has declared 2012 as ‘Eco Year’, has also introduced a number of environmental and weight-saving initiatives on the route.
Part of GE’s ecomagination portfolio of product and services, Fuel & Carbon Solutions provides a three-step process starting with an operational evaluation in which data is identified and collected on the airline’s current fuel and carbon reduction programmes. Data is then further analysed to isolate and prioritise potential improvements before work begins with customers to implement changes and then measure and validate savings.
“Since 2007 an interdepartmental fuel management task force at China Airlines has been working to produce fuel savings in flight operations,” reported Sun Huang-Hsiang, President of CAL. “Nearly 30 fuel-saving measures have been developed encompassing operational planning, flight operations, aircraft maintenance and process control. China Airlines is currently a leader in fuel efficiency among Asia-Pacific airlines and we are continuing to make further improvements. Our energy resource conservation target for 2012 is to reduce carbon emissions by 11,054 tonnes.”
CAL, which claims it is the first airline in the world to label the carbon footprint and calorie content of its inflight meals, says it uses mostly local ingredients in its meals to reduce CO2 emissions. The carbon footprints of the meals on the Frankfurt flights are calculated by the Industrial Technology Research Institute. CAL says it will continue to refine its low-carbon menu and extend it to all destinations.
On the same route, CAL has introduced other initiatives such as providing the menu in electronic form in economy class and printing the business class menu in eco-friendly soy ink on fully recyclable paper. Pillow slips and other cabin items have been green certified, mineral water bottles are lighter weight through less plastic content and lightweight cutlery is also being introduced in economy class.
The Airbus A340 aircraft being used on the Taipei-Frankfurt service is already participating in the Pacific Greenhouse Gases Measurement project that is collecting high-altitude air samples for international research on climate change.
CAL operates a fleet of 72 regional and long-range aircraft including Boeing 737-800s and 747-400s, and Airbus A330s and A340s. It has 14 Airbus A350s on order.