16 September 2021
16. September 2021 Company

Airbus helps British Airways make history

Airline’s first ever passenger aircraft to be powered directly by Sustainable Aviation Fuel is an A320neo

Side view of an Airbus A321neo commercial aircraft in flight.

 

 

U
K-based British Airways launched its BA Better World sustainability programme, described as its ‘most important journey yet’, in early September. 

The Airbus’ A320neo has been the star of the show for the second week running thanks to its sustainability credentials.

 

The airline partnered with Airbus to paint one of its most modern, fuel-efficient A320neos in its new sustainability programme colours to front the campaign, attracting comments such as “this livery looks amazing” and “stunning livery” on social media.

Earlier this week, the A320neo wowed again when it took to the skies from London Heathrow to Glasgow Airport as part of a partnership demonstration co-ordinated by British Airways and also involving NATS, Heathrow, Glasgow Airport and bp.

The demo, called Perfect Flight, was a repeat of a flight staged 11 years ago to show how new technology and more efficient operations are helping aviation decarbonise. 

Airbus’ Julie Kitcher heads up Communication & Corporate Affairs and drives the Company’s ambition and contribution to sustainable aerospace. She said: "The A320neo is a great example of how far our industry has come.  

“It meets all the ICAO environmental standards thanks to advances in engines, aerodynamics, cabin and flight operations. The A320neo burns 20% less fuel, which means less CO2, compared to its predecessor and is 50% quieter. 

"Our commercial aircraft are also capable of flying with up to 50% sustainable aviation fuel today and we are on the path to increase this to 100%. But we are not stopping there. Together with our industry partners, we want to bring the first zero emission commercial aircraft to the market by 2035.

"BA’s Perfect Flight is a clear example of how together we can achieve impressive results."

 

Significant Carbon Reduction Compared to Jet Fuel 

BA’s Perfect Flight was directly powered by sustainable aviation fuel, provided by bp. The SAF, which was a 35% blend with traditional jet fuel in accordance with technical aviation specifications.

The aircraft was pushed back using one of the airline’s electric Mototok vehicles, powered by Heathrow’s supply of 100% renewable electricity. Just one of the aircraft’s engines was used to taxi to the runway, almost halving the power used to start its journey.

 

Read more about BA’s Perfect Flight here

Read more about BA’s Perfect Flight here

Star Quality

The A320neo was one of many upgrades introduced by Airbus to help keep the A320 product line’s position as the world’s most advanced and fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft. 

It did just that and today overall the A320neo Family is the most successful aircraft family ever with 60% market share and 99.7 operational reliability.

It’s clear to see why customers like BA love it...

  • 14% lower cash operating costs per seat
  • A range of up to 4,000nm (7,400km)
  • Between 4-6% lower fuel burn per seat compared to the Boeing 737 MAX8
  • A321neo = 7% lower fuel burn per seat compared to the Boeing 737 MAX10
  • Fly by wire technology which means less weight, reduced fuel burn and reduced CO2. A key differentiator compared to the MAX.

More than 1,900neo Family aircraft have been delivered since Entry into Service in 2016, helping save 10 million tons of CO2 to date.

The improved environmental performance is thanks to Sharklets which help improve wing dynamics, cabin innovation and optimisation and new generation fuel-efficient engines.

BA’s campaign aircraft features LEAP-1A engines from CFM International and has been gracing the skies for BA since April 2018. The other engine option available to customers is Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G-JM geared turbofan. 

A320neo Family Most successful aircraft Family ever

Next Destination

From 2023, the A321XLR is the next evolutionary step for the A321neo Family. It will build on the success of the A321LR and will fly up to 4,700nm / 8,700km which is a 15% increase compared to the A321LR. It will also have a 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous generation competitor aircraft.

 

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