Etihad Airways has started operating flights designed to cut carbon emissions and save fuel by flying routes which take advantage of prevailing jet streams.
The United Arab Emirates carrier reduced emissions by a combined total of nine tonnes on two flights from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
The savings were made as a result of co-operation between the airline and various air traffic control centres to help optimise the routes flown by Airbus A340s from Melbourne and Sydney.
A combined total of 2.8 tonnes of fuel was saved on the flights.
CEO James Hogan said: “The fuel savings and reduced carbon emissions made by these flights are potentially hugely beneficial for both the aviation industry and the environment.
“In recent years, the technological advances made in aircraft navigation systems have been enormous. Aircraft are no longer reliant on ground-based navigation systems but use advanced navigation systems based on the GPS satellite constellations.
“This allows aircraft to fly an infinitely variable number of different routes between two points, subject to the agreement and approval of Air Traffic Service Providers.”
He added: “We strongly advocate industry modernisation that will allow aircraft to fly to the capabilities they now have.
“If similar savings were possible just once each week for flights between Abu Dhabi and Australia, we conservatively estimate an annual reduction in carbon emissions of some 1,100 tonnes and a saving of 350 tonnes of fuel. This would represent a reduction of more than four tonnes of carbon on every flight.”
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