The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is to trial a CO2 emissions calculation tool specifically developed for cargo flights in partnership with Etihad Airways.
IATA said the tool was developed following demand from shippers, forwarders, investors, regulators and consumers for reliable and trustworthy data calculations to effectively manage and report on sustainability progress.
IATA said the trial would provide a valuable proof of concept for the cargo component of the IATA CO2 Connect carbon calculator. The organisation has been providing IATA CO2 Connect for passenger flights since June this year, with actual fuel burn data of 57 aircraft types representing ~98 per cent of the active global passenger fleet. It uses airline specific data on fuel burn and load factors.
“Calculating the carbon impact of cargo shipments has more challenging parameters, not least of which is the unpredictability of routing at time of booking an air cargo shipment that can often include non-air segments,” said IATA. “In addition, cargo can be carried on both dedicated freighter aircraft and in the bellies of passenger aircraft. To achieve equal levels of accuracy to the passenger calculator, it is essential to collect actual data on fuel burn, load factors and other key variables in trials.”
IATA will be working with Etihad Cargo to track the necessary data for cargo shipments during a three-month trial. Etihad will be sharing data from flights and advising on various use cases to achieve the highest levels of accuracy, consistency and transparency.
By mid-2023 IATA aims to launch CO2 Connect for Cargo providing the industry with precise and consistent methodologies for both passenger and cargo operations.
“With a strong commitment to innovation, Etihad Cargo actively seeks out and facilitates the development, trials and launch of promising solutions for its customers and partners,” said Etihad Aviation Group’s senior vice president global sales & cargo Martin Drew.
“The airline’s development with IATA demonstrates the ability and willingness to co create solutions to support Etihad Cargo’s journey to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and demonstrates the carrier’s agility in adopting state-of-the-art technology and digital solutions. IATA’s CO2 Connect carbon calculator will be an effective tool in making the transportation of cargo more sustainable and will benefit not only Etihad Cargo’s customers but also the wider air cargo sector in the future.”
IATA’s senior vice president for commercial products & services Frederic Leger commented: “Aviation will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. And our customers – travellers and shippers – need accurate information on the emissions related to their activities to manage their own commitments and reporting obligations. For all these purposes, accurate data is critical. IATA CO2 Connect already provides this for passenger operations. This trial with Etihad will help us in bringing an industry-leading carbon calculator for cargo in the coming months.”