Aviation

How Hawaiian Airlines is flying cleaner

From investing in a more modern fleet, to utilising state-of-the-art technology and adopting industry best practices for all phases of flying, Hawaiian Airlines is intent on lowering fuel burn and reducing carbon emissions before, during and after each flight.

In 2012, the airline earned the first ever aviation-based carbon credits for an innovative, eco-friendly engine-washing technology that improves fuel efficiency.

On Earth Day 2016, it recorded another first: a demonstration flight between New Zealand and Hawaii that showcased best practices in operational performance.

In 2017, over several weeks in Brisbane, technicians quietly fitted one of Hawaiian’s Airbus A330 aircraft, bearing registration N384HA with atmospheric monitoring instruments.

Atmospheric monitoring equipment fitted to an Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 aircraft

Hawaiian had become the only US airline to partner with IAGOS (In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System), which provides research data to NASA scientists and agencies in Europe that analyse upper-atmosphere data.

When IAGOS approached Hawaiian in 2015, there was a large gap in the scientific group’s data between the US West Coast and Hawaii, Hawaii and Asia, and Hawaii and Oceania. As a Pacific-based air carrier, the airline was uniquely positioned to fill that gap.

Scientists now use the data collected, including on flights to and from Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland, to produce valuable metrics thanks to the carrier’s central Pacific location and network of non-stop flights extending from Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, and Tahiti in the South Pacific, to South Korea, Japan, and the United States in the North Pacific.

Earlier this year, Hawaiian also became the first US airline to adopt an onboard satellite communication tablet called ‘PACE’ that provides continuous, real-time information about weather, turbulence and aircraft performance so that pilots can chart the quickest, safest, most fuel-efficient course.

In 2018, Hawaiian had lowered its jet-fuel burn by seven million gallons. It estimates the PACE tablet will reduce annual fuel consumption by another 1.3 million gallons preventing more than 12,000 pounds of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere – about the equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions produced by driving 21,417 kilometres in an average car.

Hawaiian Airlines captain Brian Beres (left) holds a tablet featuring the Pacelab Flight Profile Optimizer dashboard while preparing for a departure in the cockpit of an Airbus A330

However, Hawaiian Airlines isn’t stopping there, according to its senior vice president of corporate communications, Ann Botticelli.

“Within the organisation, sustainability is a high priority,” Botticelli said.

“We’re committed. But really, we’re just getting started. There’s so much more we can do.”

Fuel efficiency for Hawaiian quietly takes place at every stage of the travel experience, from waiting to take-off to the moment the aircraft’s wheels touch down in Hawaii, as explained in the airline’s Mana’o blog.

While Hawaiian’s guests are kicking back and enjoying award-winning hospitality, the airline’s ‘ohana is hard at work to transport passengers to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands while using the least amount of fuel possible.

An outline of the airline’s broader initiatives and continuous approach to flying cleaner is also published in this month’s Hana Hou! inflight magazine.

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