Finnair and recycling partner Kuusakoski have dismantled and recycled 99.2% from an old Airbus A319. The original aim was to reuse, recycle and recover about 90-95% of the aircraft.
The 40-tonne 21-year-old aircraft becomes the very first it has recycled on home ground in Helsinki, and the first ever commercial passenger aircraft to be recycled in Finland itself.
Over 15 tons of aluminium was recycled and will now be used, for example, in automatic models of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, with the automotive industry being one of the biggest users of recycled aluminium.
Timo Rossi, Finnair Maintenance Project Manager, said: “The part-out took place in three phases: First, Finnair removed almost 2000 parts which will support our active fleet or to be sold.
“Secondly, the aircraft was taken outside where Kuusakoski cut off the wings as well as a piece of the tail. In the third and final phase, the aircraft was transported to Kuusakoski premises for the final dismantling.
“As well as using many parts in our active fleet, we are storing the parts in our own stock, so that we have more flexibility to support the rest of our fleet going forward.”
Dismantling the retired A319, which had flown a massive 54,710 hours across 32,966 flights, was a major achievement for the airline.
38.5% of the aircraft will be reused by Finnair, making the project profitable for the airline for the aircraft parts alone.
In addition, 7.4% of the aircraft was recovered as energy, Kuusakoski manufactures solid recovered fuel (SRF) of energy-containing waste that is unsuitable for recycling.
The Nordic carrier plans to review the success of its recent recycling venture on home soil – before making plans to recycle further aircraft in Finland in the future.