Boeing HQ logo at night

Bonza takes delivery of Boeing 737-8 MAX

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Boeing HQ logo at night

New low-cost carrier Bonza has become the first Australian airline to take delivery of Boeing’s 737-8 MAX.

Bonza welcomed the fuel-efficient 737-8 at its Sunshine Coast base this week, with Tim Jordan, CEO of Bonza commenting: “We are beyond excited to welcome our first 737 MAX to Sunshine Coast Airport and with so much buzz around the country for Bonza, we hope today is also exciting for the communities we’ll be flying to.

“Our teams have been working hard behind the scenes to reach this significant milestone and we cannot wait to launch operations in the near future. The efficiency, reliability and overall capability of the 737 MAX will enable us to provide our customers with low-cost flights and the highest level of comfort onboard.”

The aircraft will enable Bonza to optimise its domestic operations, and Boeing says it will reduce fuel use and carbon emissions by 20%. “This is a tremendous milestone for Bonza and Boeing as the airline joins many operators around the world who have launched service with the 737 MAX,” said Christy Reese, Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing Asia Pacific, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“Bonza has created a new business model to create new markets in Australia’s dynamic commercial aviation market. We are confident that the fuel-efficient 737-8 airplanes will enable the airline to provide their passengers with a comfortable flying experience and a more sustainable option to travel throughout the country.”

Air New Zealand announces science-based emissions reduction target

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Air New Zealand is progressing on its Flight NZ0 journey by setting an ambitious science-based target to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.

The flag carrier of New Zealand says it interim target is validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and requires a 28.9% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 from a 2019 baseline.

Science-based targets validated by the SBTi show companies how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change. Setting a science-based target allows businesses to set a robust and credible carbon reduction target that is independently assessed to ensure it aligns with the latest climate science.

Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer David Morgan commented: “This interim target will drive activity today and set the airline up for success in achieving its net zero 2050 target. Getting the target validated by the SBTi was a rigorous process and something we are incredibly proud to have achieved. Our GHG emissions were reviewed in detail by the SBTi to ensure we had an accurate emissions baseline and science-based target set.

“This target makes us accountable today. Implementing our decarbonisation roadmap will be critical to achieving this target – with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), continued fleet renewal, operational efficiency, and zero emissions aircraft technologies all playing a role.

Morgan says the airline’s key focus areas are SAF and the adoption of zero emissions aircraft technologies as they have the potential to reduce the carrier’s emissions by approximately 70% by 2050. “We already have several initiatives in the works including a partnership with the Government to scope the feasibility of a SAF production plant in New Zealand and our world-leading Product Requirements Document currently in market to accelerate the development of hydrogen, electric, and hybrid aircraft. These are the initiatives that will drive real change in reducing our emissions and we’re incredibly focused on delivering them as quickly as possible.”

airbus blue condor photo-credit- james darcy

Airbus to study hydrogen contrail characterisation

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airbus blue condor photo-credit- james darcy

Airbus’ subsidiary Airbus UpNext has unveiled a flight test programme to study the contrails produced by a hydrogen combustion engine as part the Company’s ZEROe roadmap.

The “Blue Condor” project will see the launch of two modified Arcus gliders, one equipped with a hydrogen combustion engine and one equipped with a conventional kerosene-powered combustion engine. This is done to compare contrails emitted at high altitudes.

Sandra Bour Schaeffer, CEO of Airbus UpNext commented: “Contrail characterisation is of significant interest to Airbus. We know that hydrogen emits no carbon dioxide when burned, but we also know that with water vapour and heat being the most significant by-products, hydrogen combustion does produce contrails. Although these contrails differ significantly to those produced by conventional JetA/A1 combustion engines, understanding their composition will be key to support our decarbonisation journey.

“In taking up this challenge we are making significant headway in our decarbonisation strategy and our ambition to bring the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft into service by 2035.”

A German Research Centre, DLR, will be tasked to collect and analyse data captured using their measurement instrumentation sensors on a chase aircraft, while Airbus says it will ensure the provision of the hydrogen system and equipment, including the combustion engine as well as the details of the flight test mission.

The test flights will be carried out back-to-back under the same meteorological conditions to ensure 100% comparable data between the hydrogen and conventional engine. Test flights are scheduled for late 2022 in North Dakota, US.

The Blue Condor demonstrator will be supported by the Perlan Project team, which will be responsible for the modification of the Arcus gliders. The team will also provide high-altitude glider pilots for the project. They are the same pilots who in 2018 set the world subsonic altitude record – 76,124 feet – in a pressurised glider for Airbus Perlan Mission II.

Boom SUpersonic

Boom Supersonic announces new suppliers and refines Overture design

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Boom SUpersonic

Boom Supersonic presented the refined design of its supersonic airliner Overture at Farnborough Airshow today and also announced Collins Aerospace, Eaton, and Safran Landing as its new suppliers for key systems such as landing gear, fuel and inerting, avionics, and ice protection.

“Aviation has not seen a giant leap in decades. Overture is revolutionary in its design, and it will fundamentally change how we think about distance,” said Boom Founder and CEO Blake Scholl. “With more than 600 routes across the globe, Overture will make the world dramatically more accessible for tens of millions of passengers.”

Boom Supersonic says its Overture airliner combines a number of engineering innovations in aerodynamics, noise reduction and overall performance.

Key features include its four-engine design; Overture will be powered by four powerful, wing-mounted engines that enable the airliner to cruise at Mach 1.7 over water and just under Mach 1 over land. The design reduces noise while also decreasing costs for airline operators.

On take-off, Overture will use the world’s first automated noise reduction system and fly without afterburners, meeting the same strict regulatory noise levels as the latest subsonic airplanes and resulting in a quieter experience both for passengers and airport communities.

The aircraft will have a contoured fuselage with a larger diameter towards the front of the aircraft and a smaller diameter toward the rear. Boom has applied this design technique to minimise drag and maximise fuel efficiency at supersonic speeds. The aircraft’s wings are sculpted to enhance supersonic performance as well as improve subsonic and transonic handling.

It will also incorporate carbon composite materials into the majority of the build that are lighter, stronger and more thermally stable than traditional metal construction. Carbon composites can also be manufactured with highly complex curvature, contributing to the aircraft’s aerodynamic efficiency.

Overture has been developed from the beginning to be net zero carbon, flying on 100% SAF. Boom Supersonic says it is planning Overture’s first flight for 2026.

The company also announced a landmark partnering agreement with Northrop Grumman to develop special mission variants for the U.S. Government and its allies.

Virgin Atlantic A330neo

Virgin Atlantic reveals its state-of-the-art Airbus A330neo

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Virgin Atlantic A330neo

Virgin Atlantic has unveiled the experience on board its new A330neo fleet.

Virgin Atlantic became the first UK airline in 2019 to announce a firm order for up to 16 Airbus A330neos, reaffirming its commitment to flying the cleanest, greenest fleet in the sky.  The airline says its A330-900neos are designed to be 11% more fuel and carbon efficient than the A330-300 they’re directly replacing and will deliver a 50% reduction in airport noise contour.

The A330neo fleet cabin features an innovative new seat in the Upper Class cabin, evolution of its iconic social space and the Retreat Suite, which the carrier says is the most spacious suite in Virgin Atlantic’s history.

The airline’s in-house design team worked in collaboration with Factorydesign to develop the cabin’s Retreat Suite, Upper Class Suite and The Loft. The Retreat Suite in Upper Class is a brand-new innovation that offers two exclusive suites at the front of the cabin comprising a 6ft7” direct seat to fully flat bed and a 27” touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity and wireless charging. Each suite has an ottoman that doubles up as an extra seat, and up to four people can dine, chat or play games in their own private social space.

As well as the Retreat Suite, the A330neo cabin will offer 30 new Upper Class suites. The forward-facing suite offers more space and storage and a fully closing privacy door. It also has passenger-controlled mood lighting, 17.3” touchscreen TV and a mirror.

The airline’s ‘Loft’ social space remains a focal point and a core part of the Upper Class experience. It consists of space for eight people, with four comfortable seats, allowing guests to sit and chat or enjoy refreshments from the new self-service fridge and drinks dispenser. Customers can also connect Bluetooth headphones to the dual panoramic 27” touchscreens or utilise the wireless charging facilities for their devices.

In Premium Class, the cabin consists of 46 Virgin Atlantic’s trademark burgundy Premium seats, with a 38” pitch and calf rests and a 13.3” touchscreen with Bluetooth audio in every seat. The airline is also offering its Premium customers an in-seat wireless charging pad.

Economy cabin customers will experience the largest ever economy screen at 13.3”, with an intuitive touchscreen and Bluetooth audio to connect headphones, with customers able to use their phone as a controller. There’s also plenty of storage, plus AC power and USB ports to keep gadgets energised. Customers have the choice between 28 Economy Delight seats, which offer an increased 34” seat pitch, or 156 Economy Classic seats, providing a 31” pitch.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “When it comes to innovating for our customers, we never stand still. Our desire to create memorable experiences means we’ll continue to imagine with fresh ideas. We care about every detail of the cabin design and every step of our customer’s journey. We’re proud to unveil our state of the art A330neo and show the evolution of our customer experience, with each of our customers receiving a premium experience regardless of the cabin they travel in. They’ll be better connected with their fellow travellers and our amazing crew in the air, and with their friends and family on the ground.

“The A330neo plays a significant role in our multi billion dollar fleet transformation, demonstrating our commitment to the planet. We know the most impactful thing we can do as an airline is to fly the cleanest, greenest, youngest fleet possible and the A330neo is integral to achieving this goal. It’s truly a plane for the future.”

The carrier says its A330neo is expected to take off to Boston on its first customer flight in early October and tickets will go on sale later this month. The airline will take delivery of three aircraft from September, with the remaining deliveries following between 2023 and 2026.

Aer Lingus signs deal for sustainable aviation fuel supply

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Aer Lingus has signed a sustainable aviation fuel supply agreement with US-based renewable fuels producer Gevo, Inc.

The agreement to purchase 19,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel per year for five years is a significant step by the airline in its commitment to a lower-carbon future, Aer Lingus says.

The carrier has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and has committed to powering 10% of its flights using sustainable aviation fuel by 2030. The agreement will see Aer Lingus purchase enough SAF to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions by at least 180,000 tonnes, the equivalent of powering 1,000 net zero CO2 emissions flights between Dublin and Los Angeles on an A330 aircraft.

Lynne Embleton, Aer Lingus Chief Executive Officer, said: “This agreement with Gevo marks an exciting and critical step on our journey to net zero carbon emissions and underlines our commitment to powering 10% of flights using sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.”

“The sustainable aviation fuel produced by Gevo will be used to power our flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and from 2026, 50% of fuel purchased by Aer Lingus from California will be sustainable aviation fuel.”

Air France, Thales and partners test concept to reduce aviation emissions

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In an effort to help achieve net zero carbon emissions for commercial aviation by 2050, Thales, Air France, DSNA, ONERA, Atmosphère, CGX and Cerfacs have announced they have joined forces on the Octavie project to test an innovative new concept.

Under the ‘Green Flag’ concept, which was developed for the Provert study by Thales, France’s air navigation services provider DSNA and Air France, air traffic control authorities can designate certain portions of airspace as Green Flag sectors during periods of moderate traffic. Working in coordination with air traffic controllers, pilots in these sectors are then able to adopt the most eco-friendly practices by optimising flight parameters (route, altitude, speed) to minimise fuel consumption and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The concept relies on the use of collaborative digital tools to simplify interaction between pilots and controllers and guarantee the highest possible levels of flight safety.

The Octavie project has already moved into a new phase and conducted its first tests in real-life conditions on two Air France flights between Paris-Orly and Toulouse-Blagnac. Thales says the tests demonstrated the value of the Green Flag concept and its ability to reduce CO2 emissions while optimising altitude and distance. Thanks to easier interaction between the flight deck and air traffic control centres, controllers were able to maintain the aircraft at cruising speed for longer periods, and flight crews could adopt continuous descent approach procedures to reduce fuel consumption.

“Thanks to the strong engagement of the project partners and the support of the Occitanie region, we have just cleared an important hurdle in the race to decarbonise aviation. The test results and the lessons learned have paved the way for optimised flow management, which will make it possible to reduce flight CO2 emissions by 10%,” said Yannick Assouad, Executive Vice President, Avionics at Thales.

Laurent Lafontan, Senior Vice President, Flight Operations Technical Development, Air France commented: “Decarbonising aviation is a key challenge for everyone involved in the air transport sector. The success of the Octavie project shows how crucial it is for all the stakeholders to work together to achieve realistic, ambitious and highly demanding CO2 emissions reduction targets like those adopted by Air France. Alongside its partners Thales and DSNA, Air France is contributing specialised expertise and resources to drive the innovations that will make air transport more sustainable.”

Lufthansa Technik Aviatar

Lufthansa Technik’s AVIATAR reaches carbon-neutral operations

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Lufthansa Technik Aviatar

Lufthansa Technik has announced its digital operations suite AVIATAR is now operating as carbon-neutral. Philip Mende, Vice President Digital Fleet Services at Lufthansa Technik said: “Of course, we are proud to be the pioneer among digital tech ops platforms in launching a carbon-neutral product. But this is just the start for us. On the one hand, we will continue to drive forward the real reduction of emissions in our production in a targeted manner and firmly anchor the topic of sustainability in our product development.

“On the other hand, we intend to conduct further studies in the near future in order to precisely quantify the emission savings that AVIATAR enables for our customers, for example by avoiding technical diversions or by optimising aircraft performance and flight operations. Here, we expect even more impressive figures.”

Lufthansa Technik says CO2 neutrality of its digital product segment is only the first step, and continuous reduction of emissions is a high priority for its four other business segments too. Although neutrality in the rather “classic” industrial segments is much more difficult to achieve than with digital products, Lufthansa Technik says it has set itself ambitious milestones. The CO2 footprint of the entire company is to be reduced by 25% by 2025 and the share of renewable energies is to increase to 50%.

The company has also set other milestones such as increasing recycling rate (to 75%), improving resource efficiency (by 25%), and reducing the chemical footprint (by 25%).

Lufthansa Technik also supports airlines around the world in achieving their sustainability goals, with its sustainability products such as the company’s Cyclean engine wash system and surface technology AeroSHARK.

Wizz air A321neo

Wizz Air operates green demonstration flight

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Wizz air A321neo

Wizz Air has operated its first green demonstration flight.  The Airbus A321neo flight used a 14.2% blend of SAF, which resulted in 12.8% reduction of CO2 emissions, and there were also green initiatives onboard.

Wizz Air says it has been recognised as a leading airline in sustainable travel and is continuously improving its sustainability rating over the years. Underpinning its commitment to sustainability and highlighting the main reasons why it is the greenest choice for flying, Wizz Air launched its ‘Fly the Greenest’ campaign in the beginning of 2022.

Johan Eidhagen, Chief People and ESG Officer at Wizz Air, said: “Wizz Air is the fastest growing airline in Europe and has an ambitious growth strategy, with plans to expand our fleet and team of dedicated pilots and crew members. We strive to continue to deliver affordable travel for all, in the most sustainable way.

“We operated our first green demonstration flight from Bucharest to Lyon, in anticipation of the EU’s “Connecting Europe Days” sustainable mobility conference. This inaugural flight reflects our commitment to a greener future for the aviation sector. I would like to thank all of my colleagues who have been working hard to make Wizz Air one of Europe’s most sustainable airlines and all of the passengers that choose to fly the greenest each day!”

Braathens flight PW127M

Pratt & Whitney Canada conducts 100% SAF flight test with Braathens and ATR

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Braathens flight PW127M

Pratt & Whitney Canada has performed a successful flight test of dual PW127M engines with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on a Braathens Regional Airlines’ ATR 72-600 aircraft.

Pratt & Whitney Canada says both PW127M engines were fuelled exclusively with Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel and flew for two hours in total. The flight between Malmo and Bromma Airports was a collaborative effort involving Braathens, ATR and Pratt & Whitney Canada.

“We are extremely pleased with the successful testing of our PW127M engines on 100% SAF,” said Timothy Swail, Vice President, Regional Aviation and APU Product Marketing and Sales for Pratt & Whitney Canada. “We have worked closely with ATR and Braathens leading up to the flight testing and share their enthusiasm over the future application of SAF in the aviation industry.”

ATR CEO Stefano Bortoli, said: “Today is a historic day for aviation. After more than a century of commercial flights powered by kerosene, we are at the dawn of a new era. In recent months, with the support of Pratt & Whitney Canada we carried out a series of successful flights with sustainable fuel in one engine. We now decided it was time to perform the first test flight with 100% SAF in both engines. This helps us to certify our aircraft to fly solely on sustainable fuels faster and to enable more sustainable air links as a result.

“The flight represents a true milestone for the entire aviation industry as it shows that this technology works and can be promptly adopted by many in our industry to speed up the transition to zero emission aviation.”

Pratt & Whitney Canada says its engines have been 50% SAF compatible since the late 2000s. The company’s family of regional turboprop engines consume up to 40% less fuel and emit 40% fewer emissions than similar-sized jet-power aircraft on similar routes.