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Aviation industry collaborates on emission-reduction project, fello’fly

Airbus has signed agreements with two airline customers, and three Air Navigation Service Providers to demonstrate the operational feasibility of Airbus’ demonstrator project, fello’fly, for reducing aviation emissions.

The airlines Frenchbee and SAS Scandinavian Airlines have joined Airbus, the UK’s NATS, DSNA of France and EURCONTROL to participate in the project.

Inspired by biomimicry, fello’fly is based on Wake Energy Retrieval (WER) to reduce aviation emissions. WER replicates the behaviour of birds, which fly together to reduce their energy consumption. The technique of a follower aircraft retrieving energy lost by a leader, by flying in the smooth updraft of air the wake creates, reduces fuel consumption in the range of 5-10% per trip.


How a fello’fly flight will actually work

Nick Macdonald, fello’fly Demonstrator Leader said:

In the aviation industry, achieving our emission-reduction targets will require implementing innovative new ways to use aircraft in the skies. Our collaboration with our airline partners and ANSPs on fello’fly shows that we’re making good efforts towards these goals.

Frenchbee and SAS will provide airline expertise in flight planning and operations for the collaborative requirements necessary for bringing together aircraft before and during a fello’fly operation. DSNA, NATS and EUROCONTROL will contribute air navigation expertise defining how two aircraft can be brought safely together, minimising impact on today’s procedures. In parallel Airbus will continue working on the technical solution to assist pilots in ensuring that aircraft remain safely positioned. 

Airbus explained how the system will work:

In today’s operations, aircraft are directed by ATC to enter transatlantic routes at a specific time and altitude via a designated oceanic clearance point. Pilots then use a flight management function to direct the aircraft to arrive at the designated point at the specified time and altitude.

In the case of two fello’fly aircraft, ATC will direct them to arrive at the same clearance point but on two different flight levels separated by 1,000 feet. Under the rules of today’s airspace and procedures, this is the closest aircraft can fly together.

Once both fello’fly aircraft have reached the clearance point, they will collaborate to manoeuvre into the rendez-vous position, which is when the follower aircraft is 1.5 nautical miles behind the leader aircraft and separated by 1,000 feet.

From here, pilots will use flight assistance functions to move the aircraft safely to a position in the updraft where it is saving fuel through wake-energy retrieval.

When both aircraft need to separate to head to their destinations, one aircraft will reposition itself into the spare flight level and inform ATC, which will again start identifying them as individual aircraft within the ATC system.


Given the high potential to make a significant impact on emissions reduction for the aviation industry as a whole, directly contributing to the sector’s sustainable growth goals, Airbus is targeting a controlled Entry-Into-Service (EIS), which is expected by the middle of this decade. 

fello’fly is part of Airbus UpNext, an Airbus subsidiary created to give future technologies a development fast track by building demonstrators at speed and scale.

What are aircraft manufacturers doing to keep passengers safe onboard?

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, airlines have been working harder than ever to make sure that their passengers enjoy the safest-possible experience.  Masks, gloves, additional cleaning protocols and appropriate distancing have all been deployed by airlines as means of ensuring risk levels are minimised. 

But what are the aircraft manufacturers doing? 

We took a look at two of the best-known aircraft builders, Airbus and Boeing.  This is what we found. 

Cabin air

Airbus and Boeing aircraft cabin air is circulated and filtered constantly throughout flights.  A mixture of fresh air, drawn from outside the aircraft, and purified air, recirculated ensures that the air in the cabin is renewed every 2-3 minutes. 

“It’s our duty to ensure the safety of our passengers. But safety also means health”.
Airbus Head of Engineering Jean-Brice Dumont.

The air enters the cabin at ceiling level and circulates through the cabin, leaving through grilles at floor level.  The air generally leaves the cabin near the same row it enters, so that there is a minimum of front-to-back air movement.

Before the air is recirculated, it goes through high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.  The HEPA filters remove 99.9% of particles present in the air, typically down to the size of microscopic bacteria and virus clusters.

Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Engineering at Airbus, explained what cabin air movement is like:

The aircraft flies in a very hostile environment, with the very cold air and low oxygen. So we must take care that the air in the cabin has the right pressure, temperature and humidity and is clean enough to protect the passengers’ health, safety and to ensure comfort.

The air you have around you is made to share.  Half of it is thrown outside and is replaced by fresh air which is heated. The other half is recirculated, a bit like in your car, when you press the button with the circular arrow!

It’s recirculated, going through HEPA filters – they are very efficient filters, of a hospital type – and they block particulates like Covid, viruses, microbes, 99.9% at least.

Dumont went on to explain the vertical movement of air inside the cabin and the frequency of air exchange:

The air is blown from above, so there is no movement of the air forwards or backwards in the aircraft, by design. It’s like every row has its own air conditioning. You can consider that the air around you is renewed every two-to-three minutes.  In other words, twenty to thirty times per hour, you’ve got completely new air around you.

Cleaning protocols

Airbus and Boeing work with their customer airlines to ensure cleaning protocols are appropriate, efficient and thorough. 

Mike Delaney leads Boeing’s “Confident Travel Initiative” to help the aviation industry safely resume global air travel amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boeing supports airlines with cleaning and disinfecting practices as the second stage in a three-stage protection layer.  The first is reliance on airlines and airports to prevent infected passengers from boarding aircraft. And the third is minimising the opportunity for contaminants to spread in the cabin by the careful design of the air cabin system, and encouraging passengers to wear face coverings.

Mike Delaney, head of Boeing’s Confident Travel Initiative, said:

Our commitment to ensuring the health of airline passengers and crews is unwavering.  We’re working with partners to enhance aircraft cleanliness procedures and identify other areas to further reduce the risk of airborne illness transmission.

Airbus exchanges information with airlines and operators on appropriate cleaning procedures and products.  In addition, Airbus is testing several more solutions:

  • Fogging (also known as spraying or misting): Using a fogging machine to spray disinfectant liquid on aircraft surfaces
  • Thermal treatment: Heating the cabin between flights to a temperature much higher than usual ambient temperature
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light: Exposing aircraft surfaces to short-wave ultraviolet (UV-C) light
  • Exploring use cases for active ion generation for disinfection

Airbus and Boeing are innovative, experienced manufacturers in a competitive and safety-conscious industry. So it’s easy to see how they are both at the forefront of safety and ensuring covid-secure travel.

If you want to know more about how to keep safe on flights, you might like to download our guide “Getting Back to Business Travel”, here.

If you need any more information about the safety procedures airlines are adopting on flights you want to take, contact your GTM Account Manager.

easyJet makes net zero carbon emission commitment

easyJet has announced that it will become the world’s first major airline to operate net-zero carbon flights across its whole network.

The airline will achieve this goal by offsetting the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of its flights. easyJet will undertake carbon offsetting through schemes accredited by two of the highest verification standards, Gold Standard and VCS.  They will include forestry, renewable and community based projects.

The airline will continue to support innovative technology, including the development of hybrid and electric planes, working with others across the industry to reinvent and de-carbonise aviation over the long-term. The aim will be for easyJet to reduce the amount of carbon offsetting undertaken as new technologies emerge.

easyJet and Airbus will cooperate on three distinct work packages set to define the impacts and the requirements necessary for the large-scale introduction of next generation sustainable aircraft on infrastructure and every-day commercial aircraft operations.  




easyJet has been supporting Wright Electric over the last two years, which is aiming to produce an all-electric ‘easyJet sized’ plane which could be used for short haul flights.

easyJet will also aim to stimulate innovation in carbon reduction by supporting the development of technologies which will enable hybrid electric and  electric planes and championing advanced carbon capture technologies. We will look to use these technologies as well as sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) as they become available and commercially viable.

Since 2000 easyJet has reduced the carbon emissions for each kilometre flown by a passenger by over a third (33.67%). Initiatives have included introducing light weight carpets, trolleys and seats, single engine taxiing and removing paper manuals from aircraft.

In 2013 easyJet established a public target to reduce its carbon emissions per passenger kilometre.  The target was strengthened in 2015 to a 10% reduction on carbon emissions per passenger kilometre by 2022 on its 2016 performance.

Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s CEO, said:

Climate change is an issue for all of us. At easyJet we are tackling this challenge head on by choosing to offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of our flights starting today. In doing so we are committing to operating net-zero carbon flights across our network – a world first by any major airline. We acknowledge that offsetting is only an interim measure until other technologies become available to radically reduce the carbon emissions of flying, but we want to take action on carbon now.

easyJet has a long tradition of efficient flying – the aircraft we fly and the way we fly them means that easyJet is already more efficient than many airlines. However, our priority is to continue to work on reducing our carbon footprint in the short term, coupled with long-term work to support the development of new technology, including electric planes which aspire to radically reduce the carbon footprint of aviation. 

I am therefore delighted that we have also announced a new electric plane partnership with Airbus. We will be working together to identify the detailed technical challenges and requirements for electric and electric hybrid planes when deployed for short haul flying around Europe.  We hope this will be an important step towards making electric planes a reality.

We also need governments to support efforts to decarbonise aviation. In particular they must reform aviation taxes to incentivise efficient behaviour, fund research and development in new technology and ensure that early movers such as easyJet are not penalised.”

Speaking about easyJet offsetting the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of its flights, Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, said:

This is an exciting development from easyJet, which is obviously taking the issue of climate change very seriously. But as is now widely understood, carbon offsetting can only be a bridge to future technological developments, and it will be important to seek out each and every way of reducing carbon emissions. Beyond that, the whole industry needs to come together more effectively to decarbonise this critical sector just as quickly as possible.

If your next business trip takes you to a city served by easyJet, contact your GTM Account Manager to search for and book the best fare and to manage your whole trip.

British Airways New A350-1000 Now Flying to Madrid!

British Airways has now taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000 which is currently operating on the London Heathrow – Madrid route to familiarise crews with the aircraft.

Should you wish to be one of the first passengers to fly on this plane before it begins operating long-haul routes (Dubai & Toronto, followed by Tel Aviv and Bangalore) this autumn, you can do so on either of the following flights: BA464 and BA465 during August.

This new aircraft is the first to feature BA’s brand new Club Suites, which marks a significant improvement on the current Club World product.

There will be no First cabin, however, the Club Suites will feature in a 1-2-1 layout, along with 56 WTP seats and 219 in WT.

The A350-1000  is the quietest of any twin-aisle plane and provides airlines with a 25% reduction in fuel burn.

SAS and Airbus to develop hybrid-electric aircraft

SAS and Airbus have signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding for hybrid and electric aircraft eco-system and infrastructure requirements research. The project aims to gain an understanding of the introduction of hybrid-electric aircraft for large-scale commercial use.

The partnership involves a joint research project where SAS and Airbus will work together to build knowledge of the opportunities and challenges regarding operations and infrastructure linked to large scale introduction of hybrid and electric aircraft in commercial traffic.

Rickard Gustafson, CEO, SAS said

We are proud of our ambitious sustainability work and are now pleased that Airbus has chosen SAS to partner up with us for this future project. If this becomes a reality, it will revolutionise emissions

SAS has for decades worked to reduce emissions and worked hard and focused towards a more sustainable flying. SAS’s goal is to reduce emissions by 25% by 2030, mainly by modernising the fleet and increasing the use of biofuels. The company envisages electric aircraft as the next step beyond the current technology.

The Chief Technology Officer of Airbus, Grazia Vittadini said

We are delighted to be embarking on this partnership with SAS. Leveraging our respective expertise to explore the potential of hybrid-electric propulsion opportunities in our aviation eco-system.

The collaboration also includes an “ambition to involve a renewable energy supplier to ensure genuine zero emissions operations”.

Bristol: easyJet launches second daily Paris flight, increases aircraft count and adds Milan, Brindisi and Biarritz flights

easyJet has announced a number of expansion developments at its Bristol base. The airline will position a 17th aircraft at its South West base and has added three brand new routes to the Bristol network. easyJet will also provide even more frequent flights to some of Bristol’s most in demand destinations, providing great value trips or low-fared commutes for even more passengers.

Brand new easyJet routes to Milan and Brindisi in Italy and Biarritz in France will launch in July. The airline will add a second daily flight between Bristol and Paris from July to allow day trips for business travellers

A further 186-seat Airbus A320 aircraft will now be based in Bristol and joins seven 156-seat Airbus A319 and nine 186-seat A320 aircraft currently serving the airline’s customers in the South West. The additional aircraft will provide 93,000 additional seats for customers looking to travel to and from Bristol this summer.

Three new routes have joined the easyJet Bristol network, bringing the total routes now available to 74.

A route between Bristol and Milan Malpensa will operate four times a week throughout the year on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, with first flights taking off on 1 July. Flights between Bristol and Brindisi in Southern Italy will operate twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays and will launch on 3 July and flights between Bristol and Biarritz in the South of France will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays with flights launching on 2 July, both operating throughout the summer season.

easyJet will also increase its Bristol – Paris Charles de Gaulle frequency, adding an additional daily flight to and from the French capital, providing even more opportunity for customers to enjoy a city getaway and a convenient schedule will allow for great value day trips for commuters from businesses across the South West.

The airline now operates up to 770 flights a week from Bristol across 74 routes, 10% more flights compared to summer 2018.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said:

We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating further expansion at Bristol Airport. The addition of another aircraft and even more routes will help us to deliver long term, sustainable growth at the base providing passengers with an even greater range of convenient flights to a fantastic variety of destinations across our network – all with low fares and great service.

We’re putting flights on sale, allowing our customers to book early and take advantage of our lowest fares to some of our most popular business and leisure destinations.

Our ongoing growth at Bristol demonstrates easyJet’s long-term commitment to providing connectivity for the South West. We continue to be the largest airline at Bristol and in the coming weeks we will carry our 55 millionth passenger, showing that our customers continue to book with confidence.

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director for Bristol Airport said:

This is fantastic news as easyJet continues to invest in Bristol Airport and basing seventeen aircraft at its second largest base. The additional aircraft will provide extra flights to Paris, and an additional three new destinations of Milan, Brindisi and Biarritz to the route network from Bristol Airport. The additional flight to Paris will provide twice daily flights to this hub city, particularly required by businesses in the region for the long-haul route connectivity. These new routes increase the choice of destinations available to passengers in the South West and Wales region, selecting to fly from their local airport.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management commented:

Paul Baker, Global Travel Management Sales Director

easyJet’s expansion at Bristol gives passengers greater flexibility and more options. At Global Travel Management, we take care to create the most efficient flight itineraries for customers. These added services will mean we can create travel itineraries that match our customers’ requirements even better. So, as well as the great value that low-cost airlines like easyJet provide, we can tailor trips that perfectly match customers’ travel requirements by combining routes across any carrier.

easyJet’s expansion gives Global Travel Management even more opportunities to create cost-saving, time-saving trips for customers.

Contact your GTM Account Manager next time you need to book an easyJet flight, or when you have a trip from, to or via Bristol.

Finnair introduces new business class amenities by Marimekko and L:A Bruket

Finnair has introduced a new range of amenities for business class passengers, designed by world-famous Finnish design house Marimekko.

The amenities will be rolled out for all trans-continental flights on Airbus A350 and Airbus A330 aircraft. They are designed to complement the new sleep textiles in Finnair’s long-haul business class, which feature the classic Kaivo print in a dark blue tone on tone colourway, designed by Maija Isola, one of the most iconic Marimekko designers.

The amenity kits and eye shades feature four different Maija Isola designs from the 1960s – Rautasänky, Joonas, Jenkka and Pieni Melooni, with each pattern in two different colourways.

Finnair will introduce two new designs at a time, changing them for another two every six months.

David Kondo, Head of Cabin Interior Development at Finnair said:

We wanted to introduce more patterns more often, so there is something new and fresh for our frequent flyers. The new kits have also been sized so they can live on after the flight for a variety of uses.


Finnair and L:A Bruket are both Nordic brands that value sustainability.

We view this partnership as a great initiative to increase the appeal of our amenity kit. We’re also trying to connect the lounge and in-flight experience more and more for our customers, and offering organic and natural L:A Bruket products both on the ground and in the air is a great step in that direction.

As sleep is such an important part of the business class experience, Finnair has also upgraded the business class eye shades with soft-touch fabric and higher-quality straps and the ear plugs in the kit are designed to be more effective too.

Each new amenity kit comes wrapped in a cardboard band – instead of plastic – with a QR code that customers can scan with a personal mobile device to read more about Isola’s inspiration for the patterns.


L:A Bruket skin care products in lounges, aeroplane cabins and amenity kits

Improved sustainability with recycled plastic, bio plastic and on-demand concept Sustainability in all its forms is key for Finnair, and environmental considerations have played a big part in the product design of the new amenity kits as well. The toothbrush is made from bio-plastic containing cornstarch, and plastic wrappings for the earplugs have been replaced with wax paper. In addition, the new business class slippers are a Nordic-style design made entirely from recycled PET plastic bottles.

As with the amenity kit, each new pair of slippers comes wrapped in a cardboard band instead of the previous plastic packaging.

With these changes, Finnair will be able to reduce plastic waste by almost 4,500 kg per year.

Finnair also provides an on-demand concept for some of the less commonly used amenity items, including razors, socks and combs. Memory-foam pillows are available on demand too, along with shawls made of a modacrylic-wool-blend with a soft and warm feel.

The new amenity kits will have products from L:A Bruket – the natural and organic skincare brand from Sweden. Each amenity kit includes aluminium tubes of almond-coconut lip cream and a chamomile-lavender facial hydrator from L:A Bruket.

Finnair will also offer L:A Bruket hand soap and hand cream in its on-board business class lavatories, as well as L:A Bruket products in its airport lounge bathrooms and shower suites.

Scents of cucumber-mint, lemongrass and grapefruit leaf have been chosen to help customers feel refreshed and invigorated.

Contact your GTM Account Manager next time you need to book a business class flight on Finnair.

How we fix the aircraft type for passengers

How we fix the aircraft type for passengers

At Global Travel Management, it is quite common for a passenger to ask what type of aircraft a specific flight is going to use.  The good news is that this is information we can provide.

From time to time we have travellers with specific requests about their flights.  Most passengers need to know the departure and arrival times, of course.  And some passengers make choices based on flight times.  But some passengers also want to know what type of aircraft will be used on a given flight.

Sometimes we get requests to make sure the flight booked is a certain aircraft type; other times we have passengers who want to avoid specific models.

We are able to help out passengers with these requests, in two ways.

First, whenever we search for airline fares, we use a system that provides lots of information including the aircraft type used on that flight.  We can see what plane the airline intends to use and can use graphical displays to determine which seats are still available to book.  So, whenever a passenger wants to make sure their booking is on a certain aircraft model, we can confirm that for them.

Second, once the booking is made, we send the passenger a full itinerary that gives them everything they need to know about their flight booking, including an explanation of the aircraft make and model.

Sometimes, for a number of reasons, an airline may need to change the type of aircraft used for a particular flight after the booking is made.  But it is very useful for passengers who have specific preferences to be able to know what aircraft is planned for a journey before making the decision to book.

This is another way we are happy to help passengers have the best experience on business trips.

Airbus to stop production of the A380

Chief Executive Tom Enders has confirmed that Airbus will stop building the A380. 

Following a review of its operations, and in light of developments in aircraft and engine technologies, Emirates is reducing its A380 orderbook from 162 to 123 aircraft. Emirates will take delivery of 14 further A380s over the next two years. As a consequence and given the lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus will cease deliveries of the A380  in 2021.

Emirates has decided to continue growing with Airbus’ newest generation, flexible widebody aircraft, ordering 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft.

Enders said,

As a result of this decision we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years. This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021.  The consequences of this decision are largely embedded in our 2018 full year results.

The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement. Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft. Hence today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide. But, keep in mind that A380s will still roam the skies for many years to come and Airbus will of course continue to fully support the A380 operators.

Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and future Airbus CEO, said:

The A380 is Emirates’ flagship and has contributed to the airline’s success for more than ten years. As much as we regret the airline’s position, selecting the A330neo and A350 for its future growth is a great endorsement of our very competitive widebody aircraft family.  Going forward, we are fully committed to deliver on the longstanding confidence Emirates is placing in Airbus.

Airbus will start discussions with its social partners in the next few weeks regarding the 3,000 to 3,500 positions potentially impacted over the next three years. However, the ongoing A320 ramp-up and the new widebody order from Emirates Airline will offer a significant number of internal opportunities.

1,500 children take-off with British Airways

More than 1,500 children were given a unique insight into a career in aviation when they attended a careers event hosted by British Airways and KidZania. The two-day event saw them take the controls of an aircraft and try out the airline’s safety demonstration with cabin crew.

The children were provided with replica uniforms and taught on board the British Airways A319 aircraft, learning some of the important skills needed to become real life flight and cabin crew.  Many received a lesson on the flight deck simulator where they were given the opportunity to fly around London and land into Heathrow Terminal 5.

  • British Airways teamed up with KidZania in Westfield to inspire children to pursue a career in aviation
  • More than 1,500 children from 19 schools visited the Aviation Academy at the two-day careers fair
  • British Airways customers receive 15% discount to the KidZania activity centre

The British Airways Aviation Academy is the most popular activity with children visiting KidZania, and the behind-the-scenes, hands-on training aims to both inspire and enthuse children about future careers they might previously not have considered.

Currently more than 6% of British Airways pilots are women, which is double the national average, but the airline is actively seeking to encourage more women into the profession.

Mel Kose, British Airways’ Community Education Manager said that events like this aim to inspire and excite young girls to see a career as a pilot to be an achievable goal and to pursue STEM subjects at school:

We’re delighted that so many students attended the event, which is just one of many initiatives we offer to inspire children and young girls to enter a STEM career. Last year 600 students took part in our work experience programme across 30 departments at British Airways, and this year we will host more young people than ever before. We’ve also introduced ‘Teacher Take-Off Days’, with teachers taking part in one-day work experience sessions and taking their learnings back to the classroom. Plus, we’ve launched a scheme we call Your Flying Future, where we regularly run events for children to meet our pilots, to encourage them to feel that this is a career available to them.

Goodyers End Primary School in Bedworth, Warwickshire was one of almost 20 schools that attended the event at KidZania. Year 6 Teacher Adele Johnson said:

Lots of our children will have never even been a passenger on a plane before, let alone thought about a career in aviation, so this event provides an invaluable opportunity to inspire the children and raise their aspirations for the future – coming to KidZania is one of the most important things we do all year.

Rachel Woods, Head of Brands Development at KidZania London, said:

The British Airways A319 aeroplane is a big hit in the city, and it was fantastic to have ambassadors offering insights into their careers through a STEM-based interactive activity. The workshop offered hands-on opportunities to support and inspire key-stage 1-3 children through real life experiences.