Here is an overview of some of our new initiatives in improving our fuel efficiency.
First A350 delivered
In 2016, we took delivery of 10 Airbus A350-900XWB aircraft, which are equipped with our latest cabins, seat entertainment systems and inflight connectivity. The combination of advanced aerodynamics, lightweight composite materials and the latest Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines resulted in a 25% reduction in fuel burn compared to existing wide-body aircraft. As well as reducing operating costs, the highly efficient A350 also benefits the environment, with a corresponding cut in CO2 emissions, reduced NOx emissions and a smaller external noise footprint.
Final flight for Boeing 747-400 “Queen of the Skies”
After more than 37 years of service, the iconic Boeing 747 flew its final journey between Hong Kong and Tokyo in October 2016. With its ability to carry more people for far greater distances than its predecessors, the aircraft enabled Cathay Pacific to rapidly expand its network significantly during the 1980s and early 1990s. Now, the more fuel-efficient Airbus A350s and Boeing 777-300ERs will fly in place of the Boeing 747. The Airbus A350s and Boeing 777-300ERs forms the primary backbone of our long-haul fleet.
In addition, we have continued to progress several initiatives to optimise our operations and infrastructure pillars of our climate change strategy.
eEnabled system updates
We continued with the eEnabled Aircraft Programme to facilitate seamless global aircraft connectivity and data sharing across our airlines. We began evaluating other technology solutions, which may reduce the complexity of deployment and enable us to roll out the programme sooner.
Flight efficiency working group
In order to better coordinate, manage and improve our fuel efficiency, we established the Flight Efficiency Working Group in 2014. The cross-departmental team focused on projects in the following areas:
Reduced Engine Taxi-In (RETI)
Total reduced engine operation remained steady, which amounted to a saving of over 3,100 tonnes of fuel.
Lower cabin window blinds
When the window blinds are lowered during disembarkation, it helps to reduce the rate of temperature, which is beneficial during the heated summer months. A banner ad was introduced in our inflight entertainment system to promote the initiative with our passengers.
Aircraft data analytics
In partnership with Rolls-Royce, we collected various inflight data parameters across the Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon fleet. The result of the data analytics will help us identify areas where we can further improve our operational efficiency.
Engine core washing
We continued the regular washing of our engines, which removes airborne dust, grease, and other contaminates. A dirty engine reduces its efficiency, leading to more fuel burn and, in turn, more pollution and higher operating costs. Beginning in 2016, to further reduce fuel consumption and improve carbon emission, we have started increasing the frequency of engine washings from every 11 to 16 weeks, to 6 to 11 weeks. We have also begun to implement engine washing at certain outports to increase efficiency, utilising otherwise unused ground time.