Mon 15 Jun 2009 – According to the 2009 edition of Lufthansa’s annual sustainability report ‘Balance’, the airline group’s average fuel consumption per passenger rose from 4.32 litres per 100 passenger kilometres in 2007 to 4.34 in 2008. Overall fuel consumption rose from 6.78 million tonnes in 2007 to 7.67 million tonnes in 2008 (+13.1 percent). Lufthansa attributes the worsening fuel efficiency to the loss of two charter and tourism operators, Condor and Thomas Cook, from the group that had high seat-load factors and therefore high levels of fuel efficiency. However, between 1991 and 2008, Lufthansa managed to reduce specific fuel consumption and emissions of its passenger fleet by 30 percent, although the goal had been 33 percent.
Another reason put forward by Lufthansa for the decline was the loss of a contribution expected from the first Airbus A380 that should have gone into service at the end of 2007. Nevertheless, says Lufthansa, the airline’s planning continues to call for a reduction of the specific fuel consumption of its passenger aircraft by 38% by 2012, compared to 1991 levels.
The most fuel-efficient aircraft within the group was again the Airbus A340-300s operated by its SWISS subsidiary. In 2008, their specific fuel consumption came to 3.24 litres per 100 passenger kilometres, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 8.2 kilos per 100 passenger kilometres.
Across the airline and freighter fleet, CO2 emissions amounted to just over 24 million tonnes (+13.1%) and NOx emissions at 112,820 tonnes (+14.4%). The increase was largely due to the integration of SWISS into the group.
In his foreword to the report, Lufthansa CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber said: “We intend to improve our environmental balance sheet substantially by making goal-oriented investments – for example in new aircraft. Lying ahead of us is the largest fleet renewal programme in the history of Lufthansa. Flying is becoming quieter, fuel consumption is declining significantly, and the ‘3-litre’ aircraft has become reality.”
In 2008, Lufthansa adopted new goals for environmental and climate protection, including the reduction of specific CO2 emissions by 25% by 2020, compared to 2006 levels. It also plans to have 5 to 10% of its fuel needs met by alternative fuels by 2020. Throughout the group – which includes activities in aircraft maintenance, consultancy and catering – there are more than 120 environmental measures in place.
Recent initiatives include an agreement signed by catering and in-flight services subsidiary LSG Sky Chefs with Canadian designer and manufacturer Norduyn to develop and commercialize lightweight, thermally efficient galley trolleys. Variable steering of cold storage equipment at LSG has reduced energy consumption by 30%.
A new engine water wash method developed by Lufthansa Technik can reduce the fuel burn of the Lufthansa fleet by up to 25,000 tonnes of kerosene and therefore reducing CO2 emissions by more than 78,000 tonnes. Lufthansa Flight Training is saving 80% of energy consumption by utilizing new flight simulators.
Lufthansa CityLine, the largest of five partners flying under the Lufthansa Regional brand, has developed new software in cooperation with Berlin-based PACE that perceptibly increases the efficiency in regional air transport. With this tool, pilots can calculate en route the optimum flight profile (speed and altitude) according to the ‘cost-index’ method, and thus save fuel and avoid emissions.
Lufthansa Cargo’s environmental management system has been certified to the ISO 14001 international environmental standard and is testing lightweight containers that are 12kg lighter than conventional versions. If all of its containers were replaced with the lighter version, the freight airline could conserve an estimated 27,500 tonnes of kerosene over the next ten years.
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