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Aviation

Airbus A320neo – a fuel-efficient choice

First officer Jimisola Laursen flies the new, more fuel-efficient Airbus A320neo.“On some longer flights, it’s noticeable straight away because the A320neo uses about 300–400kg less fuel per hour,” he says.

SAS has ordered a total of 80 new Airbus A320neo aircraft. So far, 24 of them have been put into service. 

Advanced high-tech engines, ‘sharklets’ on the wings and new lightweight cabins make the A320neo is around 15 procent more fuel-efficient than earlier A320 models.

First officer Jimisola Laursen has been flying the Airbus A320neo since 2016, when the model joined the SAS fleet.He says that it’s nice for a pilot to know that SAS is renewing its fleet and making efforts to achieve sustainability.

“On some longer flights, it’s noticeable straight away because the A320neo uses about 300–400kg less fuel per hour.” 

Most people are familiar with the concept of eco-driving in cars. It’s all about adapting your driving style to reduce the environmental impact. Laursen says that there are similar techniques for pilots.

“We always try to plan our flight and fly in a fuel-saving way. It starts at the planning stage, where we use advanced software to optimize the flight route based on factors such as distance and wind. On the ground, we try to taxi on one engine as much as possible. In the air, it’s about planning the approach so that the engines operate at idle speed from cruising altitude for as long as possible. We do this by descending continuously. We want to avoid having to stop at a particular altitude, especially a low one, once we have started our descent because this requires a lot of power from the engines.”

What are your thoughts on the general sustainability challenge facing aviation?
“Aviation has greatly improved over the years, but there are still major challenges ahead. My hope is that the industry as a whole takes up the challenge and does so at every stage. There are plenty of areas to work on, just as there are with other methods of transport. Continuing to reduce fuel consumption and using biofuel are two examples. Other areas where there is still a lot of work to be done are the use of better materials in aircraft manufacture and also in day-to-day operations. Using less and better materials for packaging in onboard service, sorting waste and also recycling textiles.”

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