Business

Hawaiian Airlines Hits Milestone in Fuel Use Reduction

May 11, 2017, 9:02 AM HST
* Updated May 10, 8:00 AM
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Hawaiian Airlines courtesy photo.

Hawaiian Airlines recently achieved a milestone in its continuing effort to reduce jet fuel consumption and carbon emissions by successfully powering all its wide-body aircrafts arriving at airport gates in a single day using electrical power.

Connecting parked aircrafts to external electricity reduces use of onboard Auxiliary Power Units (APUs), which burn jet fuel to power lights, avionics systems, air conditioning and other equipment.

By continuing this practice, Hawaiian Airlines estimates it can save more than 620,000 gallons of fuel every year, cutting carbon emissions by 5,933 metric tons. The fuel saved could power the carrier’s entire wide-body fleet of aircrafts for a single day. Carbon reductions would equate to removing 1,253 cars from the road each year.

In the last year, Hawaiian Airlines has pursued its ambitious effort to power its entire wide-body fleet on gate power within three minutes of arrival as aircraft fly between Hawai‘i, 11 U.S. gateway cities and 10 international destinations. On average, ground crews and line service have met the target goal for 92 percent of flights.

Recently, the Hawai‘i-based carrier achieved 100 percent success with all its wide-body flights in a single day, including 47 aircrafts arriving at airports from Auckland to New York.

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“It’s very much like a carefully choreographed dance requiring great timing and the tight coordination of everyone involved in bringing our airplanes to the gate once they’ve landed,” said Jon Snook, Hawaiian’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Our teams must ensure the availability of working external power at the gate, monitor minute-by-minute the estimated arrival time of the aircraft, and ensure all personnel are in place and ready to receive the aircraft.”

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Hawaiian already provides external gate power to save fuel for its narrow-body fleet, which averages 170 daily interisland flights.

Hawaiian’s goal and success in reducing APU usage aligns with the carrier’s ongoing commitment to reduce the environmental impacts of aviation. In addition, Hawaiian Airlines is investing in fuel efficient aircraft by adding 18 new Airbus A321neos beginning later in 2017.

Last year, the airline conducted two demonstration flights to Honolulu from Brisbane and Auckland using a series of gate-to-gate environmental best practices outlined by the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions, or ASPIRE. Most recently, Hawaiian became the first U.S. carrier to join an international scientific monitoring project that enlists commercial airlines to research climate change and air quality worldwide. Hawaiian partnered with the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS) venture by equipping one Airbus A330-200 aircraft with an atmospheric monitoring tool that will collect valuable data throughout the airline’s far-reaching network covering the Pacific, Asia and North America.

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