Wizz Air has announced ten new fuel saving initiatives as part of its commitment to cut carbon emissions by a further 33 per cent by 2030.
The airline says that it has already implemented 25 fuel saving initiatives over the past few years, and is now focusing on new solutions, such as developing a model for estimating zero fuel weight, removing unnecessary extra fuel through the optimisation of its flight planning system and the introduction of more precise performance factors for highly accurate fuel burn predictions.
Wizz Air’s chief operations officer, Heiko Holm, said: “We are proud to have the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger per kilometre amongst European airlines and are committed to reducing our environmental footprint further.
“Every take-off and landing is an opportunity to save fuel and every flight phase is reviewed for the smallest optimisation, having a significant impact on carbon emissions. Together with our modern fleet and maximisation of passenger load factor, we are ensuring that Wizz, the greenest airline in Europe, is the best choice passengers can make when they fly.”
Further operational optimisations in flap configuration will also be an ongoing focal point, with Wizz Air claiming that it is “an industry frontrunner” in the use of reduced flaps for landing.
In a drive to improve fuel burn efficiency, Wizz Air encourages pilots to use reduced flap configurations for both take-off and landing, which has been shown to result in “considerable” savings in fuel consumption.
This is because the lower the flap setting during ascent and descent, the lower the drag, which results in less fuel burnt. Statistics on reduced flap landings are promising, with an estimated 2,000 tonnes of fuel saved, eliminating approximately 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from the air.
Taking into account flight conditions and safety margins, reducing flaps for landing use saves around 15kg of fuel per approach. Over a year, this would mean creating savings of carbon dioxide equivalent to 92,300 cars driving from London to Edinburgh.
Alongside Wizz Air’s fuel-saving initiatives, the airline is developing its fleet with the state-of-the-art Airbus neo aircraft family which offer fuel efficiency and “great” aerodynamics, and are equipped with sharklets to further reduce interference drag at the wing.
The neo aircraft have 43 per cent less noise emission and 50 per cent less NOX emission. The airline’s current fleet has an average age of five years, making it one of the youngest airline fleets in the world. It claims that this, combined with a network design which avoids unnecessary connecting flights and the lightest materials used in the cabin, is what makes Wizz Air’s operations so efficient.