Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 14-May-2020
Emirates Group announces USD3.2bn investment spend in FY2019/20
A4A applauds addition of seventh annex to ASTM International SAF specifications
Air BP looks to support more use of SAF at airports worldwide
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- Expanded passenger and ground handling operations in Houston, New York JFK and Washington DC, and inaugurated new cargo capabilities in Brussels and London Heathrow;
- dnata's hospitality brand, marhaba, opened an expanded and refurbished lounge at Dubai International airport, and expanded its international network with a new lounge at Singapore Changi Airport;
- Completed first green turnaround of a flydubai aircraft at Dubai International Airport in Dec-2019;
- Launched first catering operations in Canada at Vancouver International Airport, as well as new operations in Houston, Boston, Los
Angeles, and San Francisco. Invested in these new stations to increase footprint and capabilities in North America, however the coronavirus outbreak has brought these operations to a temporary halt;
- Announced plans for a new catering facility in Manchester, and a new partnership to manage Aer Lingus' catering operations for its services out of Dublin;
- In Mar-2019, dnata became the sole shareholder of Alpha LSG;
- In FY2019/20 dnata Catering uplifted a record 93.5 million meals, up 32% year-on-year. Emirates attributes this increase to the full year contribution of its acquisition of Qantas' catering businesses in Australia, and its expanded operations in the US;
- Initiated strategic business review of entire Travel portfolio. This review is scheduled for completion in FY2020/21. [more - original PR]
Excerpt from original report: Emirates Group Announces 2019-20 results
For 2019-20, dnata recorded a sharp profit decline (57%) to AED 618 million (US$ 168 million). This includes a one-time gain from a transaction where dnata divested its minority stake in Accelya, an IT company that was acquired by Vista Equity Partners. Without this one-time transaction, dnata’s profit would have been down 72% compared to the same period last year, which included a one-time gain from the sale of dnata’s stake in travel company HRG. Comparing profit performance without both disinvestment gains from Accelya and HRG, dnata’s profit for 2019-20 would have been lower by 64% compared to previous year.
dnata's total revenue grew to AED 14.8 billion (US$ 4.0 billion), up 2%. This reflects its continued business growth particularly in its Catering division, and strong customer retention and new contract wins across its four divisions. dnata’s international business now accounts for 72% of its revenue.
Laying the foundations for its future growth, dnata invested more than AED 800 million (US$ 218 million) in acquisitions, new facilities and equipment, leading-edge technologies and people development during the year.
In 2019-20, dnata’s operating costs increased by 8% to AED 14.3 billion (US$ 3.9 billion), in line with organic growth across its business divisions, coupled with integrating the newly acquired companies mainly across its catering division and international airport operations.
dnata’s cash balance was AED 5.3 billion (US$ 1.4 billion), an increase of 4%. The business delivered an AED 1.4 billion (US$ 380 million) cash flow from operating activities in 2019-20, which is in line with its enhanced cash balance and puts the business in a solid position to finance its investments.
The number of aircraft movements handled by dnata in the UAE declined by 11% to 188,000. This reflects the impact of the DXB runway closure in April-May 2019, and the suspension of scheduled passenger flights at both Dubai airports (DXB and DWC) due to COVID-19 pandemic containment measures in March. dnata’s cargo handling declined by 4% to 698,000 tonnes, impacted by lower demand in the overall air cargo market during the year, and the 45-day DXB runway closure in Q1.
During the year, dnata executed the UAE’s first green turnaround of a flydubai aircraft at DXB, an achievement made possible by its previous investments in zero-emission, electric ramp ground support equipment. Its airport services brand, marhaba, opened an expanded and refurbished lounge at Dubai International airport, and expanded its international network with a new lounge in Singapore’s Changi Airport.
dnata also strengthened its position in the UAE and regional cargo logistics industry by joining forces with Wallenborn Transports, Europe’s largest air-cargo road feeder services (RFS) operator. The partnership will see the companies develop new products and services, and enter new markets.
dnata’s International Airport Operations division revenue declined slightly by 1% to AED 3.9 billion (US$ 1.1 billion), reflecting strong competitive pressure. International airport operations continue to represent the largest business segment in dnata by revenue contribution.
The number of aircraft handled by the division increased by 1% to 493,000, on account of increasing business volumes pre-pandemic, as well as the opening of new locations and winning new contracts; whereas there was a 6% decline in cargo handled to 2.2 million tonnes as air freight demand across many markets remained soft for most of the year.
During 2019-20, dnata continued to strengthen its international airport operations with the expansion of passenger and ground handling operations in Austin, New York JFK, and Washington DC on the back of new contracts and customer demand. It also inaugurated new cargo capabilities with a second warehouse in Brussels dedicated to handling imports, and a new bespoke export facility at London Heathrow, dnata City East, which is equipped with industry-leading technology and significantly increases the cargo capacity at the UK’s busiest airport.
dnata’s Catering business accounted for AED 3.3 billion (US$ 903 million) of dnata’s revenue, significantly up by 26%. The inflight catering business uplifted more than 93 million meals to airline customers, a substantial increase of 32% mainly due to the full year impact of Qantas’ catering business in Australia which dnata had acquired in the previous year.
In 2019-20, dnata launched its first catering operations in Canada in Vancouver. It also opened new catering operations in Houston, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, significantly expanding its footprint and capabilities in North America, where it saw strong customer interest and growth prospects before the COVID-19 pandemic in Q4 brought these budding operations to a temporary halt. During the year, dnata also announced plans for a new catering facility in Manchester, UK, and a significant partnership to manage Aer Lingus’ catering operations and to serve all its flights out of Dublin, Ireland.
In March, dnata became sole shareholder of the UK’s biggest inflight catering, on-board retail, and logistics company, and brought Alpha LSG – previously a joint venture partner - fully in the dnata portfolio.
Revenue from dnata’s Travel Services division has declined by 4% to AED 3.5 billion (US$ 964 million). The underlying total transaction value (TTV) of travel services sold declined by 6% to AED 10.8 billion (US$ 3.0 billion).
dnata’s Travel division saw weak travel demand having a negative impact on its business performance, particularly in its B2C units in the UK and Europe. This led the management team to initiate a strategic business review of its entire Travel portfolio, part of which resulted in an impairment charge of AED 132 million against goodwill in our UK travel B2C brands. The review will be completed in the first quarter of 2020-21.
In the UAE and GCC region, dnata’s Travel business remained steady. During the year, dnata expanded its UAE retail network with the opening of new service outlets, and launched REHLATY, a new travel brand designed by Emiratis for the Emirati traveller.
Similar to other parts of its business, dnata’s Travel division was hit hard in the last quarter by a sharp and sudden decline in travel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with corporate and retail customers seeking refunds for their disrupted travel plans.
Emirates Group announces USD3.2bn investment spend in FY2019/20
Emirates announced (10-May-2020) for the financial year ended 31-Mar-2020, the Group collectively invested AED11.7 billion (USD3.2 billion) in new aircraft and equipment, the acquisition of companies, modern facilities, the latest technologies and employee initiatives, a decrease following FY2018/19 investment spend of AED14.6 billion (USD4 billion). The Group continued to invest resources towards supporting environmental initiatives as well as incubator programmes that nurture talent and innovation to support future industry growth. [more - original PR]
Excerpt from original report: Emirates Group Announces 2019-20 results
Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity declined by 8% to 58.6 billion ATKMs at the end of 2019-20, due to the DXB runway closure capacity restrictions and COVID-19 impact with a complete suspension of passenger services as directed by the UAE government during March 2020.
Emirates received six new aircraft during the financial year, all A380s. During 2019-20, Emirates phased out six older aircraft comprising of four Boeing 777-300ERs, its last 777-300 and one Boeing 777 freighter leaving its total fleet count unchanged at 270 at the end of March. Emirates’ average fleet age remains at a youthful 6.8 years.
It reinforces Emirates’ strategy to operate a young and modern fleet, and live up to its “Fly Better” brand promise as modern aircraft are better for the environment, better for operations, and better for customers.
During the year, Emirates launched three new passenger routes: Porto (Portugal), Mexico City (Mexico) and Bangkok-Phnom Penh. It also supplemented its organic network growth with a new codeshare agreement signed with Spicejet that will provide Emirates customers with more connectivity options in India.
Additionally, Emirates expanded its global connectivity and customer proposition through interline agreements with: Vueling, adding connections to over 100 destinations around Europe via Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Milan; with Turkish low-cost airline Pegasus Airline (PC), offering customers connections onto selected routes on PC’s network; and with Interjet Airlines, opening new routes for passengers travelling between Mexico, the Gulf and Middle East and beyond.
Emirates also marked two years of successful strategic partnership with flydubai. Over 5.3 million passengers have benefitted from seamless connectivity on the Emirates and flydubai network since both Dubai-based airlines began their partnership in October 2017.
While Emirates recorded a very strong revenue performance during its 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2019-20, the DXB runway closure and COVID-19 crisis in the other quarters impacted its total revenue for the financial year with a decline of 6% to AED 92.0 billion (US$ 25.1 billion). The relative strengthening of the US dollar against currencies in many of Emirates’ key markets had an AED 963 million (US$ 262 million) negative impact to the airline’s bottom line, a substantial increase compared to the previous year’s negative currency impact of AED 572 million (US$ 156 million).
Total operating costs decreased by 10% over the 2018-19 financial year. The average price of jet fuel declined by 9% during the financial year after last year’s 22% increase. Including a 6% lower uplift in line with capacity reduction, the airline’s fuel bill declined substantially by 15% over last year to AED 26.3 billion (US$ 7.2 billion) and accounted for 31% of operating costs, compared to 32% in 2018-19. Fuel remained the biggest cost component for the airline.
Despite continued strong competitive pressure and the unfavourable currency impact, the airline reported a profit of AED 1.1 billion (US$ 288 million), an increase of 21% over last year’s results, and a profit margin of 1.1%. Profit would have been higher without a loss of AED 1.1 billion (US$ 299 million) due to fuel hedge ineffectiveness at year end.
Overall passenger traffic declined, as Emirates carried 56.2 million passengers (down 4%). With seat capacity down by 6%, the airline achieved a Passenger Seat Factor of 78.5%. The positive development in passenger seat factor compared to last year’s 76.8%, reflects the airline’s successful capacity management and positive travel demand across nearly all markets up until the outbreak of COVID-19 in the last quarter.
An increase in market fares and a favourable route mix was completely offset by the strengthening of the US dollar against most currencies and left the passenger yield unchanged at 26.2 fils (7.1 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM).
Emirates secured Bpifrance (French Sovereign Export Credit Agency) Assurance Export backed financing that also combined a commercial loan tranche sourced from Korean investors for all six aircraft delivered in 2019-20.
As part of an initiative to reduce costs and benefit from the prevailing global rates environment, Emirates refinanced and repriced more than AED 5.5 billion (US$ 1.5 billion) in 2019-20, resulting in estimated overall future cost savings in excess of AED 110 million (US$ 30 million).
Emirates’ management have taken several measures to protect the Group’s cash flow through cost saving measures, reductions to discretionary capital expenditure, and engaging with our business partners in improving working capital. Additionally, we have partially drawn existing credit lines before 31 March, and are in the process of securing additional lines to further improve the liquidity buffer. In the last quarter of 2019-20, Emirates successfully raised additional liquidity through term loans, revolving credit and short term trade facilities to the tune of AED 4.4 billion (US$ 1.2 billion). It will continue to tap the bank market for further liquidity in the first quarter of 2020-21 to provide a cushion against the impact of COVID-19 on the cash flows in the short term.
Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30% of overall revenues. Europe was the highest revenue contributing region with AED 26.1 billion (US$ 7.1 billion), down 8% from 2018-19. East Asia and Australasia follows closely with AED 24.1 billion (US$ 6.6 billion), down 9%. The Americas region recorded revenue growth at AED 14.6 billion (US$ 4.0 billion), up 1%. West Asia and Indian Ocean revenue increased by 4% to AED 9.8 billion (US$ 2.7 billion). Africarevenue decreased by 4% to AED 8.7 billion (US$ 2.4 billion), whereas Gulf and Middle East revenue decreased by 8% to AED 7.7 billion(US$ 2.1 billion).
Through the year, Emirates introduced product and service improvements on board, on the ground, and online. Highlights include: the launch of Emirates’ first remote check-in terminal at Dubai’s Port Rashid to provide smooth sea-air connections for cruise travellers; the launch of EmiratesRED, our revamped inflight retail offering; and innovative enhancements to the Emirates app as customers increasingly choose to interact with us via their mobile devices.
For frequent flyers, Emirates launched Skywards Exclusives which offers access to the airline’s unique, money-can’t-buy sponsorship experiences; and Skywards Everyday, a location based app that enables members to earn Skywards Miles at more than 1,000 retail, entertainment and dining outlets across the UAE.
Emirates SkyCargo continued to deliver a solid performance in a highly competitive market, contributing to 13% of the airline’s total transport revenue.
Freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometre (FTKM), after two consecutive years of growth, declined by 2%, largely impacted by the reduction in fuel price, and a strong US dollar.
Tonnage carried decreased by 10% to reach 2.4 million tonnes, due to the capacity reduction with the retirement of one Boeing 777freighter and reduced available bellyhold capacity in the first and last quarters of the year. At the end of 2019-20, Emirates’ SkyCargo’s total freighter fleet stood at 11 Boeing 777Fs.
Emirates SkyCargo continued to develop innovative, bespoke products. In October, it launched Emirates Delivers, an e-commerce platform that helps individual customers and small businesses consolidate online purchases in the US and have them delivered in the UAE. More origin and destination markets are being planned in the future, leveraging Dubai as a hub for regional e-commerce fulfilment. During the year, Emirates Skycargo also strengthened its pharma capabilities with the opening of new facilities in Chicago and Copenhagen.
Emirates’ hotels portfolio recorded revenue of AED 584 million (US$ 159 million), a decline of 13% over last year with competition further on the rise in the UAE market impacting average room rates and occupancy levels
A4A applauds addition of seventh annex to ASTM International SAF specifications
Airlines for America (A4A) applauded (13-May-2020) the addition of a seventh annex to the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) specification by ASTM International. The new specification establishes criteria for the production and utilisation of synthesised paraffinic kerosene from hydroprocessed hydrocarbons, esters and fatty acids, allowing for the fuel to blended at up to 10% by volume with conventional jet fuel.
A4A VP for environmental affairs Nancy Young stated: "Even as the US airlines work to address the COVID-19 crisis and aid in our national and global recovery, we remain committed to achieving our aggressive climate and sustainability goals". [more - original PR]
Original report: A4A Applauds Approval of New Sustainable Aviation Fuel Pathway
Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, applauds the addition of a seventh annex to ASTM International’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) specification, D7566, which will further enable the use of SAF by the U.S. airlines.
“Even as the U.S. airlines work to address the COVID-19 crisis and aid in our national and global recovery, we remain committed to achieving our aggressive climate and sustainability goals. The increased production and use of sustainable fuels is a key pillar of our efforts,” said A4A Vice President for Environmental Affairs Nancy Young. “The approval of this new pathway provides yet another avenue for the production of SAF. The more pathways there are, the more SAF that can be produced and ultimately provided to airlines for use in our aircraft.”
ASTM International, one of the largest standards-development organizations in the world, approved and published the new annex to D7566 with support from the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative® (CAAFI), which A4A co-founded in 2006. Annex A7 establishes criteria for the production and use of a type of synthesized paraffinic kerosene from hydroprocessed hydrocarbons, esters and fatty acids (HC-HEFA-SPK). The standard provides that HC-HEFA-SPK fuel, which was developed by IHI Corporation, may be blended at up to 10 percent by volume with conventional jet fuel. It represents the seventh approved pathway for the production of SAF. This fuel pathway was the first to receive expedited review under ASTM’s “fast track” review process and benefitted from guidance from a special clearinghouse established by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help guide SAF producers through the rigorous assessment and approval process.
“Although the U.S. airlines represent only 2 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory, we are committed to continuing to reduce that carbon footprint. A4A commends ASTM International, FAA, the airframe and engine manufacturers, the U.S. military, jet fuel producers and our entire CAAFI team for completing the review and approval of this new SAF pathway under rigorous expedited protocols. Advancing the commercialization and deployment of SAF will help the aviation industry meet its emissions reduction goals, while diversifying fuel supply and enhancing energy security,” said Young.
TKH Airport Solutions completes second CEDD AGL installation on Schiphol Airport
TKH Airport Solutions completed (12-May-2020) the second CEDD AGL installation at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport helispot. CEDD AGL has the benefit of consuming 40% lower energy compared to a traditional LED AGL system. [more - original PR]
Original report: Second CEDD® AGL installation on Schiphol Airport
Following the successful performance over the past 4 years, Schiphol Airport has decided to continue with CEDD® AGL technology for the renewed Helispot.
CEDD® AGL has the benefit of consuming 40% lower energy compared to a traditional LED AGL system, reduced civil and maintenance costs as well as fast and reliable communication with the AGL Control and Monitoring System. Therefore CEDD® AGL is a great fit with Schiphol’s ambition to operate the world’s most sustainable, high-quality airports. In addition to Schiphol Airport, the sister airport at Lelystad also utilises the CEDD® AGL technology.
Air BP looks to support more use of SAF at airports worldwide
Air BP reported (13-May-2020) it is moving to support the use of more sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), working with partners such as Neste and Fulcrum BioEnergy which are using recycled cooking oils as a feedstock. The SAF technology will also progress to using household waste as a feedstock. The use of SAF has the potential to cut carbon emissions by up to 80% over its lifecycle. The company has already already established supply chains for the fuel, and to date have supplied SAF to 16 airports worldwide. [more - original PR]
Original report: How Air BP’s Operations Became Carbon Neutral
Climate change is one of the most challenging issues of our time. The last couple of years have seen stakeholders across the industry turn their attention to tackling the issue of climate change.
Electric planes, solar powered aircraft and fuel produced from used cooking oil and other waste, called sustainable aviation fuel, are no longer pipedreams. They point to the future of aviation. But while these exciting innovations and pioneering initiatives are to be applauded, they are still not operated or available at scale. So, the question we should really be asking is, what does the transition to a lower carbon future look like in the interim?
Air BP’s commitment to developing better, cleaner more sustainable aviation fuel is nothing new. For over a decade Air BP has been enabling ground-breaking test flights; it first supplied sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in 2010 to the Brazilian airline TAM (now LATAM). And the company is also investing in sustainable alternatives. Now Air BP is among those leading the way to a more sustainable future with sustainable aviation fuel that recycles used cooking oils and - in the future, household waste - to cut carbon emissions by up to 80% over its lifecycle.
Carbon Neutral Operations
Gigi Yuen, Air BP’s global carbon neutral leader explores how we are balancing the challenge of satisfying customer demand and business needs with achieving carbon neutrality.
One of the highlights of my career has been helping achieve carbon neutrality (in 2016) across our global network of more than 250 Air BP operated into-plane sites. It demonstrates how the business is not only investing but has been acting for years to tackle climate change.
The emphasis of the Air BP Carbon Neutral program right from the start has always been to first establish a reduction plan for our operations. Only after this do we offset emissions that remain. This has been the basis of the carbon management framework since 2014.
The initial challenge we faced was coming up with the methodology and framework to quantify our carbon footprint. Every location is different. We needed to consider the different geographies and understand our overall footprint.
The second challenge was to look at how we could reduce our direct and indirect emissions to achieve more energy efficiency in our operations. No two locations are the same so there’s no ‘one size fits all’ model that can be applied. Working closely with our operations team and airports was, and still is, vital in developing innovative solutions to reduce our carbon footprint.
For example, when it comes to energy consumption, we’ll only pump what is needed. We also use alternative energy for our trucks. We have over a decade of experience of using electric powered vehicles which significantly reduce emissions. Our vision is to have zero emission trucks in our fleet.
We have also adopted stop-start technology in our hydrant dispensers. The clever thing about this technology is that it constantly monitors power demands and reduces the length of time the engine is running during refueling.
From fuel efficient vehicles to innovative technologies, here are some of the key initiatives we’ve used to achieve carbon neutrality across our global network of Air BP operated locations.
Taking trucks off the road. Reducing the number of journeys made by truck brings down emissions. For example, by upgrading fuel infrastructure at Air BP’s Dolvik terminal to enable delivery of Jet A-1 via pipeline to Norway’s second largest airport at Bergen, it has resulted in a more efficient, lower carbon fuel supply for customers. This change is saving 300 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Bergen airport serves more than six million passengers a year.
Stop-start technology on aviation fuel hydrant dispensers to minimize emissions. With the engine shut off for refueling, power demands are constantly monitored and automatically switched on to ensure enough power to support high power demand activities such as platform lift, inlet hose lifts, interlock system and lighting. This reduces carbon emissions and fuel consumption.
Electric powered vehicles have been in use at Air BP operations for more than 10 years. They offer a 100% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions at airport level, deliver less fuel costs than a diesel engine. And, what’s more, the lead, plastic and acid can be recycled at the end of the battery life.
Magna-Strain is an in-line magnetic filter, which strips out magnetic materials like rust particles within pipelines. Apart from reducing waste (disposing of the filter elements), while it is removing all the ferrous material (rust), Magna-strain has no pressure drop so it reduces the electrical demand on pumps. It also reduces wear to delicate pressure control instruments, so it extends the lifecycle of those. It further helps waste reduction as it replaces paper used in traditional paper filtration.
Call for Collaboration
Climate change is a global concern and tackling it requires long-term collaboration from everyone. Business, government and society are beginning to take action and we’re seeing more and more examples of this.
Take the Nordic countries – they are leading the way towards sustainable air travel because people at every level are engaged, including governments, industry and the general public. We’re exploring how we can keep the industry aware of the latest developments in carbon neutrality. This is something we’re also working closely on with the Australian government for its National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS).
We partner with airlines and airports to work with BP’s dedicated carbon offsetting team - BP Target Neutral. This is a voluntary program to help our customers offset their carbon emissions. As part of BP, together, we have offset more than five million tonnes of CO₂. BPTarget Neutral carefully select offset projects from around the globe; each has to meet a rigorous list of requirements and are independently verified. These programs are also benefiting local communities and changing lives.
We’re often asked what the future holds for the aviation industry’s wider carbon neutral goals. Moving away from vehicles and aircraft powered solely by fossil fuels is a major focus. Our sustainable aviation fuel plays a role in efforts to help to reduce an aircraft or airline’s carbon emission levels. It can be produced from waste such as used cooking oil to cut carbon emissions by up to 80% over the lifecycle of the fuel. We have already established supply chains and to date have supplied SAF to 16 airports worldwide and counting. We’re working with leading SAF producers and developers like Neste and Fulcrum BioEnergy to meet our customers’ needs by purchasing, blending and supplying SAF. We are also looking at opportunities to use biofuels for our fleet of ground vehicles. But looking ahead, we’re keen to work with airline operators and manufacturers to gain a better understanding of how the electrification of aircraft could affect airport infrastructure and ground handling services.
Both governments and industry associations globally are making commitments to a more sustainable aviation future. It’s clear that collaboration will be key to how successful we are as an industry in achieving these goals. So, while Air BP is playing a part in leading the way to a more sustainable future, we’re doing so alongside other partners and stakeholders with a shared vision. Integral to the role we play is our ability to really listen to what customers need and want and to try to ensure we deliver that in the most sustainable way possible.