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New Technologies

New Technologies

Developments in aircraft and fuel will continue to help reduce the environmental impact of our operations

Airbus A350-XWB
The Airbus A350-XWB is the next major technological development in medium-to-long haul aircraft. Emirates has ordered 70 A350-XWB. Like the A380, the A350 will deliver the ultimate in passenger comfort while representing a leap forward in eco-efficiency with further reductions in emissions and noise. The A350 is built from advanced light and composite materials (53 per cent composites, titanium and advanced aluminium alloys) combined with the most modern avionics systems, to provide fuel consumptions 25 per cent lower than today’s equivalent. 

Boeing 747-8 F
The 747-8 Freighter is the new, high-capacity aircraft of the Boeing 747 family. Emirates has 5 of this type of aircraft on order for our cargo division, Emirates SkyCargo. The 747-8 Freighter represents a new benchmark in fuel efficiency and noise reduction. Emirates’ fleet of 747-8 F will have lower CO2 emissions than today’s equivalent and will be able to fly into more airports at more times of the day because of quieter take-off and landing. The 747-8 F is 16 percent more fuel efficient than the 747-400 passenger aircraft.

Emirates spends over USD 4billion on fuel each year, so naturally we are monitoring the development of biofuel technology with great interest. However, Emirates is an end-customer - we are not a specialist fuel R&D company, nor are we a large-scale grower of agricultural or algal feedstocks.  When aviation biofuels have been developed that are technically safe, cost competitive, and truly sustainable, Emirates will be first in line to buy them. This is a job for agronomists and aquaculture specialists, fuel researchers and engine manufacturers. 

There have been big questions raised about the overall carbon footprint and sustainability of some alternative fuels. An alternative jet fuel that has a higher environmental impact than normal kerosene cannot be considered an improvement in environmental terms. And even a 5-10% increase in fuel costs can make an airline economically unsustainable - an argument that we believe is often overlooked in the fight for ecological sustainability.

Environmental Report 2012-13