How we’re looking for opportunities to improve fuel efficiency and accelerate the development of sustainable aviation fuels to reduce our emissions.
As a Group, we operate over 300 aircraft, operating around 1,500 flights using some 14 million litres of fuel each day. As a result, over 95 per cent of our overall emissions come directly from jet fuel. We’re always looking for opportunities to improve fuel efficiency and reduce our environmental impact.
We're continuing to work towards the IATA industry target of an average annual improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5 per cent from 2009 to 2020. We will see a step change in improvement to come from the retirement of our B747s by the end of FY21 and the introduction of more efficient aircraft like the B787-9 and the A320-NEO.
A modern fleet is only part of it. We've also identified more than 50 initiatives to drive fuel benefits across the Group and have the data and analytics to support our people to implement them. Examples of these initiatives include:
- Fleet modernisation – with an average aircraft age of 11.1 years, our fleet is modern by industry standards. The retirement of our B747s by end 2020 and the introduction of more B787-9s will deliver significant fuel burn savings. As will the arrival of the A321NEO into Jetstar from 2020.
- Approach and decent – our collaborative introduction of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) technology was its first implementation outside of North America.
- Flight planning – we’re using advanced analytics and 4D flight planning to minimise our fuel use by taking advantage of weather and winds to determine the most fuel efficient flight path.
- In the air – on certain sectors, like those across the Pacific, we’re using User Preferred Routing (UPR) and dynamic airborne re-route procedures (DARP) to optimize our route while in-flight.
- Landing – when environmental conditions are right and it is safe to do so, our pilots are utilizing reduced flap landing and idle reverse thrust techniques which use less engine power and, therefore, less fuel.
- Taxiing – we’re using single engine taxi across the Group, shutting down additional engines when taxiing in to reduce fuel use with the additional benefit of reduced brake wear.
- At the gate –we’re using a combination of ground or mobile power rather than using onboard turbines.
- Onboard weight – we’re using lighter alternatives to our onboard products such as galley carts, unit load devices and carbon brakes.
- Maintenance – our maintenance procedures are driving fuel efficiency through continuing to carry out engine refreshments and engine washes.
- On the ground – we’re expanding our fleet of low emission Electric Ground Service Equipment, significantly reducing our diesel usage.
We are continuing to evolve the FlightPulse application co-developed in collaboration with GE to broaden the depth of information available to our crew. FlightPulse uses smart analytics and the millions of data points recorded on aircraft, allowing pilots to see the amount of fuel used at different stages of a flight and how they can help reduce carbon emissions.
We're collaborating closely with other airlines, industry, scientific agencies and leading environmental NGOs to accelerate the development of aviation biofuels. In 2019, we committed $50 million to the development and increased uptake of a sustainable aviation fuels industry both in Australia and at our international ports.
In 2012 we made history with Australia's first commercial biofuel flights, and in January 2018 we operated the first dedicated biofuel flight between the United States and Australia, a 15-hour trans-Pacific flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne.