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Air operations, Expert view

Aviation sustainability momentum continues

February 17, 2021

By Simon Kirsch Key Account Manager – Technology and Logistics at Cirium. The pandemic has accelerated the existing focus on sustainability within the air transport industry.

By Simon Kirsch, Key Account Manager – Technology & Logistics at Cirium

As the news each week shows, the pandemic has accelerated the existing focus on sustainability within the air transport industry. There has long been an economic incentive to minimize fuel consumption as it typically represents an airline’s second biggest operating cost. We have noted through the recovery phase airlines will most likely operate smaller fleets of younger, fuel-efficient aircraft.

The need to apply market-based measures to address aircraft emissions in a cost-effective manner has long been recognized by industry stakeholders. 

Andrew Doyle, Senior Director, Market Development at Cirium

Last week it was announced that British Airways would be investing in a sustainable fuels partnership with LanzaJet. See the February 9 analysis in Cirium Dashboard. And, last Monday, KLM announced that it completed its first passenger flight that was partially fueled with synthetic kerosene.

These recent announcements signal a larger shift in travel, as the industry and governmental policies address climate change through the reduction of greenhouse emissions, primarily CO2. In a recent interview with The Points Guy, newly confirmed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, explains that he sees problems in climate and transportation as interwoven issues.

Also, as travelers prepare to fly post-COVID-19, the environmental impact will be on the minds of many stakeholders across the industry including travel management companies (TMCs), travel tech providers and online travel agencies (OTAs). According to a 2018 study, 75% of millennials consider sustainability and the environment in their purchases.

With industry leaders taking increased actions, we clearly see environmental planning is key in their revised strategies. Cirium will continue to utilize our Cirium Core data for analysis as industry and market stakeholders accelerate these strategies aligned with sustainability and profitability.


See our recent, “Greener on the other side — aviation sustainability trends” post, where we looked at some of the sustainability developments over 2020.

Learn more about Cirium Dashboard.

Contact Simon Kirsch for more information about the applications of Cirium data and analytics across the industry.

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