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Fuel efficient operations

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  • Fuel is one of an airline’s main cost centers. Aircraft manufacturers are continually seeking to reduce aircraft fuel consumption.
  • Traffic levels have risen 123% since 2002 while Air France-KLM CO2 emissions have risen by only 105% over the same period (see chart below).

  • Today’s newest aircraft represent the best possible technological trade-off between quieter aircraft and lower CO2 emissions.

CO2 emissions are directly proportional to fuel consumption: one metric ton of burnt fuel produces 3.15 tonnes of CO2. Therefore, Air France has undertaken a vast cross-functional action plan mobilizing all of the Company’s entities in an effort to reduce fuel consumption.


Seeking out unnecessary fuel consumption


Air France's Fuel Plan identifies and implements all possible fuel saving measures, subject to strict respect for flight safety.

150 mesures have been identified, and over 30 have already been put into practice.

Eco-piloting, which as first rolled out in 2013 thanks to the work of pilots has been pursued, as has the optimization of the volume of drinking water carried onboard long-haul aircraft. 

New initiatives with significant impacts on fuel consumption have been developped for medium-haul aircraft, such as single-engine taxi-out and take-off with a reduced flap configuration. 

The introduction of two new Airbus A320s fitted with sharklets into the fleet has meant a reduction in fuel consumption of between 2% and 4%.

Taken all together, these intiatives have resulted in a 40,000 tons reduction in fuel consumed in 2014, compared to 2013

Optimizing the use of airspace

Improvements in fuel efficiency are made through the optimization of routes and flight paths, the reduction of aircraft waiting times and optimized altitudes.

Air Traffic Control (ATC) impact on Air France Group’s fuel consumption has been estimated at 6% or around 70,000 tons per year.

In 2014, Air France launched a program with ATC to reduce waiting times on the approach to Paris-CDG, and so reduce fuel consumption.

 Optimising flying

Air France and KLM pilots apply the most fuel efficient procedures,without compromising flight safety. These are based on ongoing research into flight level and optimum speeds, continuous descent approach procedures, taxiing with one or two engines switched off and negotiating direct paths with air traffic control.

Eco-piloting in the air and on the ground:

Pilots are trained to apply the most fuel efficient procedures possible: flight plan precision, speed adjustments and optimized procedures, taxiing with one engine, and using of electric aircraft Ground Power Units.

Air France has extended the France-Italy WE-Free program to other European destinations with flights operated via direct routes, and so using less fuel. The Engage program ensures that speed and altitude are optimized for flights between Paris-CDG and North America.