As part of a holistic energy efficiency drive, Latam Airlines Group (LAN and TAM airlines, based in Chile and Brazil, but operating across South America), worked with a team of stakeholders to generate a streamlined fuel efficiency programme, delivering remarkable results.
The airlines took a broad view of a range of different innovations and technologies, ensuring that all possible avenues for fuel efficiency are being pursued. These include investing in a modern and efficient fleet, such as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A321neo. The main fleet has been fitted with winglets and sharklets, allowing 4% fuel reduction.
Weight reduction measures have been deployed, such as minimising unnecessary onboard water, ultra-light service carts, optimising the fuel load according to destination, improving distribution of weight to have an optimal centre of gravity and the improvement of freight factor (the combination of passenger and cargo services).
Standardised operation procedures for approach and landing, as well as minimising the use of the auxiliary power unit when on the ground. LAN has also worked with GE Aviation to develop sophisticated and more efficient arrivals procedures at airports in its network.
Using sophisticated route planning software to calculate the best route according to wind, flight times and tax charging for air space. Latam has also invested in software that optimises cruising speed to boost efficiency and cut delays.
Using a periodically programmed engine wash that allows for more efficient combustion of fuel and reduces emissions in airport areas.
As a direct result of this programme, Latam Airlines Group was recognised in 2014 by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index as the leading company in eco-efficiency matters. The magnitude of this programme has allowed the company to improve its environmental performance and to enhance environmental awareness both within the company and externally.