Finnair has joined forces with Finland’s air navigation service provider to make the country’s “airspace the most environmentally friendly in the world”.

The new initiative will see Finnair share fuel consumption data with Fintraffic ANS, with both parties exploring how to support airlines in meeting new lower emission targets.

The airline cited measures that can reduce a flight’s fuel consumption, which include: minimising time and unnecessary stops in taxiing, using continuous climb and descent during take-off and landing, and optimising the flight route, speed and altitude taking into account the weather conditions.

Finnair and Fintraffic ANS explored the possibilities for minimising fuel consumption with two test flights from Helsinki to Kittila and Ivalo in November 2020. The flight time, fuel consumption, flight length and CO2 emissions were recorded on the test flights, and a data comparison was made between the optimal plan and the realised flight. The test showed that weather conditions and other air space users “affected the possibility to optimise fuel consumption”.

Finnair will operate another test flight today [February 17] from Helsinki to Kittila in Northern Finland, with the different phases of the flight and their impact on fuel consumption shared on the airline’s Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Anne Larilahti, Finnair Vice President of Sustainability said:

“This flight also uses sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) – with book and claim principle – purchased by our customers.”

”In the next phase of our SAF use, through our partnership with Finnish sustainable fuel provider Neste, will enable us to use SAF at our home hub in Helsinki Airport.”

Finnair launched a new strategy for sustainability in March 2020, committing to halving its net CO2 emissions by the end of 2025 and achieving carbon neutrality in 2045.

See our feature:

Finnair aims for carbon neutrality by 2045

The airline states that fuel efficiency is key to reaching such targets, alongside sustainable aviation fuels and carbon offsets.

Finnair pilot, Captain Tom Hakala, is in charge of fuel efficiency of Finnair flight operations and advises how the airline’s pilots can maximise their fuel-efficient flying techniques. Commenting on the news, he said:

“Reducing the CO2 emissions of our flight operations is our number one environmental target, and we work for this on every single flight.

“Through this welcome partnership, we will now start sharing openly our fuel data and the impact air navigation services’ actions have on fuel consumption. Together with Fintraffic ANS we can explore new ways of further reducing the amount of fuel we use and the environmental impact of flying upon the environment.

”…Fuel efficiency is impacted by many factors, and even small actions make a difference, when they are repeated on thousands of flights per year.”

Pasi Nikama, CCO of Fintraffic ANS, added:

“Our vision is that Finland has the safest, smoothest and most environmentally friendly airspace in the world. Every day, we focus on making air traffic as optimized as possible. Flight route optimization, continuous descent approach and close international cooperation are our means of reducing emissions.

“Air navigation services must also take into account the requirements of the environmental permit for aircraft noise management. Close cooperation with Finnair gives us new information and ways to develop Finnish air traffic to be even more environmentally efficient”.

This partnership comes after Finnair announced that it would be dismantling and recycling an A319 aircraft at Helsinki airport.