Emirates said it operated a demonstration flight carrying the UAE delegation to the ‘2011 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’ (COP17) in South Africa as part of its commitment towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The convention was held in Durban, South Africa last week.
This was the first flight over African continent for Indian Ocean Strategic Partnership to Reduce Emissions (Inspire) programme, which brings airlines, airports and air navigation service providers together to implement a range of best practice operational procedures to allow a ‘perfect flight,’ the Dubai carrier said in a statement.
These flights incorporate techniques to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, such as flying the most direct and optimum route between departure and destination, it stated.
Through close co-ordination with air navigation providers in seven countries between the UAE and South Africa, Emirates was able to use techniques in-air and on the ground to reduce flight emissions and save over five tonnes of CO2 compared to the same aircraft flying a normal flight plan.
It also includes using ground power (instead of the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit, which burns jet fuel), minimising on-ground delays, utilising expedient taxi and preferential runways, conducting uninterrupted climb and descent paths.
The UAE team was welcomed at King Shaka International Airport by Patrick Dlamini, the CEO of Air Traffic and Navigation Services South Africa (ATNS) along with the members of its board and executive committee, as the plane touched down just after 5p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
ATNS had organised the flight in conjunction with Emirates.
“Initiatives such as Inspire, which boost ties between South Africa and the airlines that serve it, support the people of South Africa by protecting our incredible natural environment: be it on the ground, at the airports, or above the clouds at 35,000 feet,” stated Dlamini.
The aircraft used for the Inspir flight from Dubai to Durban was a Boeing 777-300ER, one of the most fuel efficient aircraft types in Emirates’ fleet.
“It was a privilege to have arrived in Durban for COP 17 on the Emirates airline test flight which emitted less greenhouse gases by using efficient flight paths and other techniques,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE special envoy for Energy and Climate Change and CEO of Masdar.
“‘UAE carriers and aerospace entities have taken the lead in the industry by conducting such test flights under the Inspire programme,” he added.