Loading

Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 07-May-2020

Analysis

Wizz Air CO2 emissions per passenger/km up 10% in Apr-2020 due to load factor drop

Heathrow procured 'significant volume' of green gas in 1Q2020

European CO2 emissions up 1% in 2019, growth 'significantly smaller' than in recent years

Atlantic Council publishes recommendations for sustainable aviation fuel policy in the US

New Climate Institute releases roadmap for addressing climate and post COVID-19 economic crisis

This CAPA report features a summary of recent aviation sustainability and environment news, selected from the 300+ news alerts published daily by CAPA. For more information, please contact us.

Wizz Air CO2 emissions per passenger/km up 10% in Apr-2020 due to load factor drop

Wizz Air reported (05-May-2020) CO2 emissions of 63.5 grams per passenger/km in Apr-2020, an increase of 9.9% year-on-year. The increase is attributed to the drop in load factor. Total CO2 emissions decreased 97.1% to 9157 tonnes. Total CO2 emissions decreased in line with capacity. [more - original PR]
 
Original report: April 2020 traffic and CO2 emission statistics

WIZZ AIR OPERATED 3% OF ITS CAPACITY

AT 75% LOAD FACTOR

Wizz Air Holdings Plc ("Wizz Air"), the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, today announces passenger and CO2 emission statistics for April 2020.

In April 2020, Wizz Air continued to grow its network and improve its customer offering as follows:

·      In addition to the regular passenger traffic detailed below, Wizz Air has operated 71 cargo flights with medical equipment as well as 28 rescue flights since the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

·      Wizz Air announced five new destinations to Abu Dhabi, with the first flights from Budapest and Bucharest commencing in June 2020, and three additional destinations starting in September. The launch of the Group's new low-cost airline Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is progressing in line with the initial timeline.   

·      Operations were resumed from Wizz Air's bases in London Luton and Vienna on 1 May with flights to selected destinations.

·      Wizz Air announced the opening of a new base in LvivUkraine from 1 July with one based aircraft and five new destinations, as well as two additional services from Kharkiv.

·      Wizz Air continuously operates at the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger/km amongst all competitor airlines, with 57.2 grams per passenger/km for the rolling 12 months to 30 April 2020. For the month of April, emissions in grams per passenger/km were 9.9% higher due to the drop in load factor, while total CO2 emissions in tonnes decreased in line with capacity. 

 

Month

   

Rolling 12 months to:

 
 

April

2020

April

2019

Change

 

30 April

2020

30 April

2019

Change

Capacity (seats)

104,956

3,577,062

-97.1%

 

39,328,757

37,800,952

4.0%

Passengers*

 78,389

3,288,731

-97.6%

 

36,828,040

35,090,840

5.0%

Load Factor**

74.7%

91.9%

-17.3ppts

 

93.6%

92.8%

0.8ppts

*booked passengers

**rounded to one decimal place

Wizz Air Monthly CO2 Emission Statistics

 

Month

   

Rolling 12 months to:

 

 

April

2020

April

2019

Change

 

30 April

2020

30 April

2019

Change

CO2 emissions in tonnes*

9,157

310,775

-97.1%

 

3,458,183

3,325,633

4.0%

CO2 grams per passenger/km*

63.5

57.8

9.9%

 

57.2

58.4

-2.0%

*rounded to one decimal place

Additional Wizz Air Operational Statistics

 

Month

   

Rolling 12 months to:

 
 

April

2020

April

2019

Change

 

30 April

2020

30 April

2019

Change

Available Seat Kilometres (000s)

187,566

5,824,582

-96.8%

 

64,356,558

61,280,645

5.0%

Revenue Passenger Kilometres (000s)

144,307

5,381,352

-97.3%

 

60,461,157

56,979,081

6.1%

Heathrow procured 'significant volume' of green gas in 1Q2020

London Heathrow Airport reported (01-May-2020) it procured a "significant volume" of green gas in 1Q2020, which will help to stimulate growth for the commodity. In addition, it further invested in UK natural climate solutions such as woodland creation in Scotland. [more - original PR

Excerpt from original report: Heathrow outlines early impacts of COVID-19 - Results for the 3 months ended 31st March 2020

Heathrow outlines early impacts of COVID-19 - Results for the 3 months ended 31st March 2020

  • Heathrow remains open – and continues operating safely to help people get home and to secure vital supply lines for the UK
  • Significant impact on traffic – Passenger numbers declined by 18.3% during Q1 to 14.6 million and are expected to be down by around 97% in April. We expect passenger demand will remain weak until governments around the world deem it safe to lift travel restrictions. Overall revenue fell 12.7% to £593 million and adjusted EBITDA fell by 22.4% to £315 million
  • Management has responded quickly – Heathrow took immediate action to conserve cash and reduce costs by around 30%, through cutting management pay, renegotiating all contracts and consolidating operations. Capital expenditure has been cut by £650 million
  • Financial position is robust – Heathrow has £3.2 billion in liquidity, sufficient to maintain the business at least over the next 12 months, even with no passengers
  • Building passenger confidence in flying - Heathrow is working with partners round the world to establish a Common International Standard for safe air travel to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Re-establishing long haul passenger flights is critical for the UK’s supply chain, exports, inbound tourism and education 

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

"Heathrow is proud to serve Britain by remaining open for repatriating UK citizens and critical supplies of PPE.  When we have beaten this virus, we will need to get Britain flying again so that the economy can recover as fast as possible. That is why we are calling on the UK government to take a lead in setting a Common International Standard for safe air travel."

European CO2 emissions up 1% in 2019, growth 'significantly smaller' than in recent years

European Commission reported (04-May-2020) verified emissions from aircraft operators amounted to 68.1 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2019, an increase of 1% year-on-year. The Commission noted the increase is "significantly smaller" compared with previous years. 54% of these emissions were covered by allowances acquired from auctions or other sectors.
 
Aircraft operators received free allocation of 31.3 million allowances, covering 46% of these emissions. 1.5% of international credits covered the remaining emissions. Around 500 aircraft operators reported and complied, including more than 100 commercial aircraft operators based outside the EUoperating within the EEA. Non-compliant operators were typically small or ceased operating in 2018. [more - original PR]
 
Original report: Emissions trading: greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 8.7% in 2019

Emissions of greenhouse gases from all operators covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in 2019 reduced overall by 8.7%[1] compared to 2018 levels, as a result of 9% decrease of emissions from stationary installations and a 1% increase of emissions from aviation.

Despite the difficult economic situation due to COVID crisis, industry, power sector and aviation have fulfilled their climate obligations.

The reduction of greenhouse gases emissions in 2019 took place in the context of a growing EU economy (EU 28 GDP growth of 1.5% in 2019[2]). The biggest reduction was achieved in the power sector with a decrease of 15% reflecting decarbonisation from coal being replaced by electricity from renewables and gas-fired power production. Emissions from industry decreased by 2%. Emission reductions have been observed in most industrial sectors, including production of iron and steel, cement, chemicals and refineries.

Installations’ and aircraft operators’ level of compliance with the EU ETS is very high: more than 99% of emissions covered by allowances from the total stationary installations reported emissions. Non-compliant installations are typically small.

Emissions from stationary installations reduced considerably 
Verified emissions of greenhouse gases from stationary installations (power plants and manufacturing installations) amounted to 1.527 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2019[3]. They were 9% less in 2019 than in 2018.

Airlines' emissions: an emission increase significantly smaller than in previous years 
Under the EU ETS Directive, all commercial aircraft operators, and non-commercial aircraft operators with significant emissions, are accountable for their emissions from flights within the European Economic Area (EEA)[4] in 2013-2023.

Verified emissions from aircraft operators amounted to 68.14 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2019. This was approximately 1% higher than the 67.49 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2018. 54% of these emissions were covered by allowances acquired from auctions or other sectors. Aircraft operators received free allocation of 31.3 million allowances, covering 46% of these emissions. 1.5% of international credits covered the remaining emissions.

Around 500 aircraft operators reported and complied, including more than 100 commercial aircraft operators based outside the EU which operate flights within the EEA. Non-compliant operators are typically small or ceased operating in 2018.

Background 
Under the EU ETS, all operators (stationary installations and airlines) were required to report their verified emissions of 2019 by 31 March 2020 and to surrender a corresponding number of allowances by 30 April 2020. The verified emissions data was made available on the public website of the European Union Transaction Log (EUTL) on 1 April 2020. The EUTL displays compliance data from 1 May 2020, with information on whether installations have complied with their obligation to surrender an amount of allowances equal to the previous year's verified emissions.

The level of compliance and the level of registered emissions were again this year very high, despite the crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this year again, real data are used and there was no need to do an approximate calculation. Instead, the total emissions reported in 2018 and 2019 were compared.

The third period of the EU ETS began on 1 January 2013 and runs until 31 December 2020. Rules revising the EU ETS for 2021-2030 were adopted in 2018 and will apply from January next year.

Atlantic Council publishes recommendations for sustainable aviation fuel policy in the US

Atlantic Council published (30-Apr-2020) a new report, 'Sustainable Aviation Fuel Policy in the United States: A Pragmatic Way Forward' providing a set of near and long term US federal policy options that could be implemented in order to encourage the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). According to the Atlantic Council, SAFs present an opportunity to decarbonise the aviation sector, but US federal policies that address SAF have largely included SAF as an add-on to existing policies that are meant primarily to address ground transportation. However, due to the unique challenges presented to decarbonisation by the aviation sector, the use of SAF should be incentivised through pragmatic, sector-specific federal policies. The report contextualises each policy choice and explains the implications of each option, differentiating between policies that can be implemented in the near term and policies that require long term implementation. [more - original PR]

Excerpt from original report: Sustainable aviation fuel policy in the United States: A pragmatic way forward

The aviation sector is in need of decarbonization, but it is one of the most challenging transportation sectors to decarbonize, since decarbonization options that may work for ground or maritime transport are generally not feasible for air travel. Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) present an opportunity to decarbonize the aviation sector, but federal policies that address SAF have largely included SAF as an add-on to existing policies that are meant primarily to address ground transportation. However, due to the unique challenges presented to decarbonization by the aviation sector, the use of SAF should be incentivized through pragmatic, sector-specific federal policies.

The new Atlantic Council report by Fred Ghatala, Sustainable Aviation Fuel Policy in the United States: A Pragmatic Way Forward, provides a set of near and long-term federal policy options that could be implemented in order to encourage the use of SAF. The report contextualizes each policy choice and explains the implications of each option, differentiating between policies that can be implemented in the near-term and policies that require long-term implementation.

New Climate Institute releases roadmap for addressing climate and post COVID-19 economic crisis

New Climate Institute released (29-Apr-2020) a government roadmap for addressing the climate and post COVID-19 economic crises. Under the roadmap, the institute assumes two different recovery scenarios:

  • An "optimistic  recovery" where the downturn lasts for a few years, after which economic growth rates return to those expected prior pandemic and reach previously projected levels of economic activity for 2030 several years later;
  • A "pessimistic recovery" pathway, where global economic growth rates take longer to recover and do not fully return to those anticipated, leading to a substantial delay in reaching levels of economic activity originally projected for 2030; 

The institute then combined these two economic recovery pathways with five scenarios of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Fossil fuel rebound scenario: Under this scenario there is a slowdown in low carbon investment and move back towards fossil fuel technologies and infrastructure at a significant scale, resulting in emissions significantly higher than pre-COVID-19 policy estimates for 2030;
  • Maintenance of current policies post-COVID-19 scenario: These show the economic consequences of COVID-19 will do little to bend the emissions curve downwards and instead mainly delay the increase. If current trend for low carbon energy sector investments were maintained and the optimistic recovery scenario applied, global emissions would fall between the range of pre-COVID-19 estimates projected for current policies;
  • Three levels of "green stimulus" (weak, moderate and strong): These focus recovery on low-carbon energy system development and infrastructure and would have a fundamental effect on reducing emissions by 2030. The level of emissions reduction is related very strongly to the scale of the green economic stimulus. [more - original PR]

Excerpt from original report: A government roadmap for addressing the climate and post COVID-19 economic crises

The COVID-19 pandemic presents the world with an unprecedented policy challenge for effective economic stimulus in unchartered territory: not only will it have a severe impact on the global economy likely to exceed that of both the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and the Great Depression, it will take place against the backdrop of the ongoing climate crisis.

In acknowledging the magnitude of this unprecedented challenge, the priority for governments must first be the immediate emergency response focussing on saving lives, supporting health infrastructure, food availability, and the many other urgent social and economic support measures such as short-term job allowances, direct cash handouts to citizens, or targeted liquidity support to SMEs.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis are closely interlinked, in that the pandemic seriously affects economies and therefore greenhouse gas emissions, making future developments and the resulting emissions gap very uncertain. The question of how the economic recovery is designed remains crucial in shaping the long-term pathways for emissions and determining whether the Paris Agreement’s 1.5˚C temperature limit can be achieved.

COVID19 could well exacerbate climate change impacts as governments divert some of the resources tagged for climate change to address the pandemic. In the worst-case scenario, economic stimulus will be obtained at the expense of already-achieved climate policies.

Want More Analysis Like This?

CAPA Membership provides access to all news and analysis on the site, along with access to many areas of our comprehensive databases and toolsets.
Find Out More