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Aviation and the environment; CAPA, 7-Jan-2020

Analysis

Headlines

Wizz Air Dec-2019 Traffic and CO2 Emission Statistics

JetBlue Prepares its Business for a New Climate Reality

airBaltic CEO questions flight shaming, arguing need for connectivity

Southampton Airport: A Vision for Sustainable Growth

Schiphol Airport Group to become emission free within the next decade

Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emission: Gatwick plans not compatible with the climate emergency

Cologne/Bonn Airport deploys hydrogen-powered bus

Finnair will introduce a renewed, extensive sustainability plan

Government Report: China should immediately cease construction of coal-fired power plants

This CAPA report contains a summary of aviation environment reports issued in recent days

Wizzair's Dec-2019 Traffic and CO2 Emission Statistics (Wizz Air report)

Wizz Air grows passenger numbers by 25% to 3.3MLoad factor increases by 0.6PPTs to 89.4%

Wizz Air Holdings Plc ("Wizz Air"), the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, today announces passenger and CO2 emission statistics for December 2019.

Wizz Air continuously operates at the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger/km amongst all competitor airlines. At 59.5 grams, CO2 emissions in grams per passenger/km for the month of December were 2.0% lower than in the same month last year.   

 

Month

   

Rolling 12 months to:

 
 

December

2019

December

2018

Change

 

31 December

2019

31 December

2018

Change

Capacity (seats)

3,711,436

2,994,546

23.9%

 

42,532,642

36,612,246

16.2%

Passengers*

3,317,762

2,660,104

24.7%

 

39,800,666

33,814,122

17.7%

Load Factor**

89.4%

88.8%

0.6ppts

 

93.6%

92.4%

1.2ppts

Additional Wizz Air Operational Statistics

 

Month

   

Rolling 12 months to:

 
 

November

2019

December

2018

Change

 

31 December

2019

31 December

2018

Change

Available Seat Kilometres (000s)

6,078,915

4,875,899

24.7%

 

69,444,183

58,837,817

18.0%

Revenue Passenger Kilometres (000s)

5,450,397

4,350,987

25.3%

 

65,172,092

54,433,284

19.7%

Wizz Air Monthly CO2 Emission Statistics

 

Month

   

Rolling 12 months to:

 

 

December

2019

December

2018

Change

 

31 December

2019

31 December

2018

Change

CO2 emissions in tonnes*

324,437

264,244

22.8%

 

3,734,501

3,216,193

16.1%

CO2 grams per passenger/km*

59.5

60.7

-2.0%

 

57.3

59.1

-3.0%

 

JetBlue Prepares its Business for a New Climate Reality (JetBlue report)

JetBlue to Go Carbon Neutral on All Domestic Flights by Offsetting Emissions Starting in 2020, Ramping up to Offset more than 15-17 Billion Pounds of CO2 Emissions Per Year

JetBlue to Start Flying with Sustainable Aviation Fuel on Flights from San Francisco in 2020

JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU) today announced that it will offset carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) from jet fuel for all domestic JetBlue flights beginning in July 2020, making it the first major U.S. airline to take this critical and measurable step toward reducing its contribution to global warming. JetBlue also announced plans to start flying with sustainable aviation fuel in mid-2020 on flights from San Francisco International Airport.

As part of the airline’s plan to prepare for a changing climate, these commitments underscore JetBlue’s long-term strategy to ensure a more sustainable business for crewmembers, customers, shareholders and communities served by JetBlue. The efforts also build on the airline’s existing programs like investments in fuel-saving technologies and aircraft, as well as advocating for a more fuel-efficient air traffic control system that would reduce emissions from flying.

“Air travel connects people and cultures, and supports a global economy, yet we must act to limit this critical industry’s contributions to climate change,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “We reduce where we can and offset where we can’t. By offsetting all of our domestic flying, we’re preparing our business for the lower-carbon economy that aviation – and all sectors – must plan for.”

Offsetting Emissions From Domestic Flights Starting 2020

JetBlue first began offsetting carbon dioxide emissions with programs to balance customer flying during specific times of year but today’s moves expand those efforts to reduce emissions associated with fuel use in a bigger way.

JetBlue will continue to partner with Carbonfund.org—a leading U.S. based nonprofit carbon reduction and climate solutions organization. Since 2008, JetBlue has already offset more than 2.6 billion pounds of CO2 emissions in partnership with Carbonfund.org. JetBlue’s new carbon offsetting partners now also include established experts in the space – EcoAct and South Pole.

This expansion is expected to offset an additional 15-17 billion pounds (7 to 8 million metric tons) of emissions per year – the annual equivalent of removing more than 1.5 million passenger vehicles from the road. JetBlue will offer ways for the airline’s customers and communities to connect with the carbon offsetting projects JetBlue is engaging with..

When projects that reduce CO₂ emissions are developed, every ton of emissions reduced results in the creation of one carbon offset or carbon credit. A carbon credit is a tradeable certificate that represents the avoidance or removal of one ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Buying carbon credits means investing in emission reduction projects that require carbon offsetting financing in order to take place. (a)

“The airline industry is one of the few industries that has collectively committed to an international emissions reduction goal,” said Hayes. “Air travel brings so much good to the world and JetBlue has always been about making our essential industry better. Carbon offsetting is a bridge to, not a silver bullet for, a lower carbon future. Reducing and mitigating our greenhouse gas emissions is a fundamental aspect of our business plan and our mission to inspire humanity.”

Flying with Sustainable Aviation Fuel on Flights from San Francisco in 2020

Carbon offsetting is a bridge to other industry-wide environmental improvements like fuel with lower emissions. JetBlue has agreed to purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and a pioneer in renewable jet fuel, starting in 2020.

Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel™ is produced 100 percent from waste and residue raw materials. Over the lifecycle, it has up to 80 percent smaller carbon footprint compared to fossil jet fuel. Safety is JetBlue’s number one priority and the fuel is fully compatible with the existing jet engine technology and fuel distribution infrastructure when blended with fossil jet fuel. The fuel is being shipped via the fuel pipeline to the airport where it will be safely used alongside regular fuel without safety or operational impact.

JetBlue is continually exploring SAF options and views SAF as a critical part of the industry’s transition to a lower-carbon model. With agreements like these, JetBlue is helping to kick-start the SAF market and lead the economics on these lower carbon fuels.

Types of Carbon Offsetting Projects Selected by JetBlue

As part of its offsetting program, JetBlue selects projects around the globe that will offset the use of jet fuel. Many projects operate in less economically developed countries where a bigger community impact can be made. Emissions reduction projects reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere in at least one of three ways – avoiding greenhouse gas emissions in favor of renewable sources, removing emissions from the atmosphere, and destroying emissions when possible.

JetBlue will support carbon offsets projects focused on but not limited to:

  • Forestry: Forest conservation projects prevent deforestation by helping voluntarily forego plans that would have converted forests for other purposes, thereby sequestering CO2 emissions from the atmosphere in trees and soil while having additional co-benefits for communities and local wildlife.
  • Landfill Gas Capture (LFG): Landfill gas is a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic material in landfills. Instead of escaping into the air, LFG can be captured, converted and used as a renewable energy resource. In addition, LFG energy projects generate revenue and create jobs in the local community and beyond.
  • Solar/Wind: These projects develop expansive solar and wind farms, generating power that otherwise would have been supplied by fossil fuels like coal, diesel and furnace oil. These projects also create jobs and revenues for local communities.

All of JetBlue’s purchased carbon offsets are audited, verified and retired on the airline’s behalf. The offsets will benefit physical projects and are verified and enforceable, as reputable carbon offset auditors have confirmed the claims behind a program and the project is on a public database. These projects are also permanent and ongoing. The sale of carbon offsets help to finance the projects. (b)

JetBlue Mitigates its Contribution to Climate Change

JetBlue’s carbon offsetting and sustainable fuel purchase is just one example of the efforts that JetBlue is making to mitigate its contribution to climate change in response to public and market demand.

  • More Fuel Efficient Aircraft: JetBlue operates a robust fuel savings strategy that starts with its new fuel efficient fleet. The airline’s incoming 85 new Airbus A321neo (new engine option) aircraft will help reduce carbon emissions more than ever before. All A321neo aircraft improve fuel economy by 20 percent through newly designed engine technology and cabin changes. In addition, the acquisition of 70 Airbus A220s to replace older aircraft marks a major investment over several years, reducing emissions per seat by about 40 percent compared to the older aircraft they will replace.
  • Air Traffic Control (ATC) Modernization: JetBlue is also advocating for a more efficient ATC system. Current ATC inefficiencies account for as much as 12 percent of fuel burn and resulting emissions.

JetBlue focuses on issues that have the potential to impact its business. Customers, crewmembers and community are key to JetBlue's sustainability strategy. Demand from these groups for responsible service is one of the motivations behind changes that help reduce the airline’s environmental impact. For more information visit jetblue.com/sustainability.

airBaltic CEO questions flight shaming, arguing need for connectivity

airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss questioned the practice of shaming air transport passengers for using a service that "connects society", noting air travel is not a luxury but a necessary way to remain connected with family and friends (Simple Flying, 06-Jan-2020). Mr Gauss added: "Yes, we do produce CO2 when we fly, that is correct. We [the aviation industry] produced 2.8% of all man-made CO2 this year; it's still 2.8% but we are by far one of the smaller contributors".

Mr Gauss said the aviation industry is investing billions in modern technology, working towards carbon neutrality and driving down CO2 emissions faster than any other industry. Mr Gauss added: "The focus is on the airlines now and I think it is completely unfair".

Southampton Airport: A Vision for Sustainable Growth (Southampton Airport report)

After years of rigorous planning, research and consultation with industry experts – Southampton Airport published its finalised Master Plan and  submitted its planning application to Eastleigh Borough Council to enable phase one of the plan.

The planning application, which was accompanied by public information events, proposes to extend the runway by 164 metres and if approved will see the airport creating up to 500 more jobs for the local community, offer more routes as well as contributing further to the local economy.

Reduced Carbon Footprint for SOU

Last year saw Southampton Airport reduce its carbon footprint by saving an astonishing 970 tonnes of Co2 in that year alone.

Other achievements included an overall 43% decrease of emissions compared to that of 2017 partnered with a 6.9% decrease of electricity consumption – the future for Southampton Airport is certainly green.

Schiphol Airport Group to become emission free within the next decade (Schiphol Airport report)

Sustainability is the key challenge for the aviation sector.

Schiphol CEO Dick Benschop: 'We have formulated our ambition and our Climate Plan. As far as aviation is concerned, more of the same will not work. For the environmental movement, merely doing less of the same is not the ambition either. We're all for a different and more sustainable approach to flying.'

The Schiphol CEO is referring here to measures aimed at encouraging cleaner, quieter and more economical aircraft, sustainable fuels, as well as the use of trains for short journeys within Europe. 'This plan will only succeed if innovation, investment and policy serve to enhance each other, which is not yet the case.

The European Commission's Green Deal is very important to us. If there is a sensible European approach, with an international obligation to blend renewable fuels, great progress can be made. Schiphol aims to render itself as well as the airports in Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Lelystad emission-free within this decade. 'Many of the measures that we are taking will have a positive effect on emissions of CO₂ as well as ultra-fine particles and NOx', said Benschop. 

Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emission: Gatwick plans not compatible with the climate emergency

Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emission (CAGNE) urged UK Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps to consider London Gatwick Airport's expansion proposals with greater scrutiny (West Sussex Gazette, 06-Jan-2020). CAGNE chairperson Sally Pavey said: "We believe that these plans are neither compatible with the current climate emergency, nor with achieving the Government's net zero carbon target".

Cologne/Bonn Airport deploys hydrogen-powered bus

Cologne/Bonn Airport, via its official Facebook and Twitter accounts, reported (06-Jan-2020) it deployed a hydrogen-powered emissions-free bus on route 423 from Bensberg via Rösrath to the airport. 

Finnair will introduce a renewed, extensive sustainability plan

Finnair, via its official Twitter account, announced (31-Dec-2019) "There's a lot more we need to do to reduce the environmental impact of aviation and our long term goal is to become carbon neutral".

The airline outlined plans to introduce "our renewed, extensive sustainability plan that outlines how we're going to get there" at "the beginning of 2020". Finnair stated: "A new decade is about to begin and a key focus area for us in the coming years is making aviation more sustainable". 

In Dec-2019, Finnair, in conjunction with Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT) and a group of companies, participated (19-Dec-2019) in a 'power-to-x' pilot feasibility study to advance the development of carbon neutral synthetic fuels. The pilot plant will be located in Joutseno and will use CO2 from the Finnsementti cement facility, with excess hydrogen from Kemira production as main raw materials.

Government Report: China should immediately cease construction of coal-fired power plants

China’s government backed Energy Research Institute has recommended the government immediately end construction of all new coal-fired power stations in order to meet its long term climate goals, according to Reuters. The ERI report, developed jointly with the University of Maryland Center for Global Sustainability, was published on 6-Jan-2020.

Coal-fired power currently accounts for some 60% of China's total consumption.

The report also recommends changes to the way coal-forced power is used, by changing the role of coal-fired power in its energy system. By reducing the total operating hours of each plant, China could make coal-fired power a “peak load” supplier during periods of high electricity consumption, rather than the main “baseload” power source.

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