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Next generation A320neos deliver cleaner and quieter flight at Heathrow

Heathrow has announced that Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) has taken the top spot in ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ league table for Q4. The airline has now held pole position three consecutive quarters, highlighting the carrier’s efforts to improve operational performance and invest in greener and quieter A320neos.

Image - Bene Riobo

A320neos have modified wing tips, reducing the fuel burn and enabling them to fly more efficiently. The next generation aircraft makes up seven per cent of flights from Heathrow and are used by eight of the airlines based at the airport including British Airways, SAS, Lufthansa, Air Malta, Iberia and TAP, who all feature in the top 20 of this quarter’s ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ league table. SAS was closely followed by Air Malta, which climbed three positions up to second place in the final quarter of 2020. Air Malta has also been deploying new A320neos over the course of 2019 and the airline has also been maintaining its strong operational performance by practising Continuous Decent Approach and avoiding late or early arrivals. Oman Air came third in Q4, and was the airport’s strongest long-haul carrier. The biggest mover for Q4 was Austrian Airlines who climbed 16 places, going from 28th place to the 12th spot. The airline’s investment in A320’s has significantly lifted their scores, coupled with a reduction in late and early rivals that has helped to drive the improvement.

Heathrow became one of the world’s first aviation hubs to become carbon neutral, for its infrastructure, and now the hub airport is going even further by being the first to target zero carbon by the mid-2030s. The plan outlines the investments Heathrow will continue to make in its infrastructure, as well as how the airport will work with business and industry partners to help decarbonise flight and ground operations.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye said:

“Over the past decade Heathrow has laid the groundwork for carbon neutral growth by creating the Fly Quiet and Green league table, investing in the restoration of UK peatlands to offset emissions and starting work on airspace modernisation that will reduce emissions in flight. Aviation is a force for good and we are working closely with the industry to ensure that emissions are net zero by 2050.”

Lars Andersen Resare, Head of Sustainability at SAS, added:

“SAS is committed to reducing its emissions by 25 percent in 2030 and is continuously developing more sustainable products and services. Without our dedicated staff and their fantastic work, across all our operations, this wouldn’t be possible.”

The Fly Quiet and Green league table helped to bring this issue to the fore in 2014 and has since played a key role in the transformation of fleets at Heathrow. The replacement of older aircraft types for newer, cleaner and quieter ones such as A350, A320neos and 787 Dreamliners has reduced the airport’s CAEP score (emission standard) by a third. Operational metrics have also played a big role in providing respite to local communities with many airlines improving their track keeping and adopting Continuous Decent Approach.

Fly Quiet and Green league table

Each quarter, Heathrow publishes this league table showing a red/amber/green rating for seven noise and emissions criteria. In doing so, Heathrow not only aims to recognise good performance but ensures our noise and emissions experts are able to provide airlines with regular feedback and identify specific areas to be targeted for improvement. Heathrow will engage with airlines showing red results in the latest league table to improve their rating.

Information on the Fly Quiet and Green programme, along with the current table and previous rankings can be found here:

Below - Lufthansa are another airline now using Airbus A320 neos into Heathrow (Kevan James)

Kevan James' book Heathrow Airport 70 years and Counting provides the complete history of the airport and includes the personal stories of some of those who worked there and passed through it.

Details on the home page

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