Artificial Intelligence: Air France to Deploy AI to Cut Emissions and Fuel Use

July 15, 2020 | Artificial Intelligence, News
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AI-based operational strategies could cut the airline’s fuel consumption by up to five percent.

Airlines the world over are on the ropes following the collapse of the travel and aviation market due to the coronavirus outbreak. Tentative economy restarts, such as in the U.S. are under threat from a renewed rise in COVID cases. Airlines are under enormous pressure to cut costs as revenues have evaporated. Flag carriers, such as Air France (EPA: AF), have to come up with environmental quid-pro-quos to qualify for governmental bailouts. AI is a ray of hope in these circumstances. (Business Traveller)

Air France and SkyBreathe

The airline is collaborating with Open Airlines, a fuel efficiency platform for commercial aviation. Open Airlines offers SkyBreathe, an eco-flying solution for airlines that saves fuel, cuts CO2 emissions, and boosts efficiencies.

SkyBreathe was developed in partnership with Transavia France, an Air France Group company.

SkyBreathe uses sophisticated Big Data Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning to automatically analyze billions of data records from all types of data sources, including complete FDR records, operational flight plans, ACARS, etc.

It then dovetails this data with real-time, actual environmental and flight information such as payload, weather conditions, and ATC constraints.

The software then comes up with recommendations for operational actions that can potentially save fuel consumption by up to 5%. That is not an insignificant amount considering jet fuel usually amounts to as much as a third of an airline’s running costs. The favorable impact on the bottom line could be in the range of tens of millions of dollars annually.

According to Open Airlines, its customers have already saved more than US$150 million and 590,000 tonnes of CO2 last year.

“We chose Sky Breathe because Open Airlines is an agile company with a long and solid experience in fuel savings,” said Jean Fernandez, executive vice president for flight operations at Air France. “Thanks to Sky Breathe we will better understand our operations and improve our flight efficiency by taking advantage of accurate data.”

Air France: environmental commitment

The airline’s “Air France Horizon 2030” roadmap plans to offset emissions on all flights within mainland France from the beginning of 2020 through participation in environmental projects.

The plan also cuts total CO2 emissions by 50% per passenger-kilometer compared to 2005 by 2030.

Fuel consumption is also targeted for three liters per passenger-kilometer by 2030.

The Skybreathe initiative will potentially aid in the achievement of these targets.

“Sustainability is a top priority at Air France, and one of our greatest opportunities to reduce aviation’s CO2 footprint, beyond the modernization of our fleet, is through implementing more efficient procedures – both on board and on the ground – to make our operations greener,” added Fernandez.

Related Story:  Buffett Dumps Airlines; What That Means For the JETS ETF                                                 

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