Air Canada goes green and goes for gold

29th Jul 2012
Air Canada goes green and goes for gold

With the departure this morning of Air Canada’s flight AC864 Montreal-London, the airline will operate its second biofuel-powered flight which is expected to generate up to 10 per cent fewer emissions by using jet fuel derived from recycled cooking oil and through other fuel-saving measures.

“As the Official Airline of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams, Air Canada is proud to be flying Canadian athletes to London.  Just as our athletes strive for excellence in their athletic performance, Air Canada strives for excellence in its environmental performance,” said Dave Legge, Senior Vice President - Operations at Air Canada.

Twenty per cent of the fuel required by the Airbus A330 used to operate this flight will be a 50/50 mix of regular jet fuel and biofuel derived from recycled cooking oil. This blend produced by SkyNRG has been recertified to normal jet fuel standards and can be safely used without modifying the aircraft’s systems.

“Airbus is proud to be part of the world’s first transatlantic bio fuel flight using an A330. Like the sports stars on board, we too have goals. More than 90 per cent of Airbus Research and Technology is directed at setting new records in environmental performance, including speeding up sustainable alternative fuel production and keeping the world connected,” said Andrea DebbanĂ©, Airbus Vice President Environmental Affairs.

The Airbus A330 will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700s, which are the cleanest, quietest and most efficient engines available for the Airbus A330.  Rolls-Royce spends nearly $1.58 billion a year on research and development, in the relentless pursuit of innovative technology and product optimization. The Trent 700 benefits from this significant investment through continuous improvements in the engine’s efficiency and further reduction of its impact on the environment.


Air Canada’s first biofuel flight was on June 18, 2012 between Toronto and Mexico City as part of a series of commercial biofuel flights that took the secretary general of ICAO to the United Nations conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro.

Air Canada also uses other techniques and measures on its flights to reduce impact on the environment. These include:

Pre-flight maintenance preparation:
*  Fuselage wash and wax to improve aerodynamics
*  Engine compressor wash to increase efficiency

Pre-flight operations:
*  Minimising emissions from on-board Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) through use of ground power at gate and use of conditioned air
*  Taxiing the aircraft to the runway with one engine
*  Minimising taxi time to runway

Reduced thrust take-off
*  Air conditioning adjusted to save power

*  Immediate turn towards destination
*  Optimised climb to optimal cruise altitude

*  In conjunction with NavCanada ENGAGE programme, optimised cruise speed and altitude
*  Most direct flight routing

*  Constant descent using optimized descent rate along most direct routing

*  Direct taxi to gate with minimal delay
*  Taxiing the aircraft with one engine
*  Minimising use of APU at gate through use of ground power.


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