India towards Decarbonization: Data shows that 59% of the Indian fleet is made up of fuel-efficient aircraft

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India’s airline fleet outperforms the rest of the world’s airline fleet in terms of taking practical and long-lasting efforts towards decarbonization.

The majority of the commercial airline aircraft in use today are older-generation fuel guzzlers, according to data published by the European aerospace giant Airbus, with only 20% of the world’s current, in-service airline fleet consisting of the most recent generation of aircraft.

According to TOI, the current generation of fuel-efficient aircraft make up 59% of the airline fleet in India.

The amount of fuel used by airlines directly reflects the carbon dioxide emissions of the industry.

About 70% of the exhaust is made up of CO2, which is also the main source of aviation emissions. Therefore, an aircraft’s carbon emissions decrease as fuel efficiency increases.

The primary component of aviation emissions, CO2, makes up about 70% of the exhaust. As fuel economy improves, an aircraft’s carbon emissions do too.

“Replacement of older generation aircraft is one of the most straightforward ways to decarbonise the sector and in this aspect India is well ahead of the curve.”

–Airbus Spokesperson

Airbus recently wrapped up a two-day annual summit where it presented a number of initiatives to lessen the impact of aviation on the environment. The primary initiative among them is the development of a new hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine to power its zero-emission commercial aircraft, which is expected to enter service in 2035.

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The percentage of fuel-efficient aircraft is expected to increase substantially over the next few decades thanks to fleet modernisation, a short-term solution to reduce carbon emissions in the aviation industry.

According to the most recent prediction from Airbus Global Services, new-generation passenger aircraft will make up 95% of the fleet that is in operation by 2041 (2022-2041).

The proportion of fuel-efficient aircraft in airline fleets in India is anticipated to increase significantly during the next several years.

Also read: All Indian airports to be carbon neutral in near future – Jyotiraditya Scindia

Air India, a recently privatised carrier, is anticipated to shortly announce a sizable order for most-up-to-date aircraft. The carrier is apparently in the advanced stages of negotiating a significant fleet renewal and growth. However, the majority of the green fleet is currently run by IndiGo, the largest airline in India with a 56% market share.

Air India is anticipated to shortly announce a sizable order for most-up-to-date aircraft

“Currently, 80% of our fleet is comprised of latest-generation aircraft.”

–IndiGo Spokesperson

Which is the latest-generation aircraft? The most well-liked single-aisle, narrow-body aircraft, which primarily flies domestic routes.

Aircraft from the A320neo series and the Boeing 737 MAX, which entered service in 2016–2017, are considered to be of the new generation. Then there are the new generation wide-bodies like the A350, B777X, B787, etc., which are more fuel-efficient than earlier generation aircraft like the A300, A310, B747, etc.

“The A320neos are typically 15-20% more fuel-efficient than the older generation A320 and A321ceos.”

–IndiGo Spokesperson
The A320neos are typically 15-20% more fuel-efficient than the older generation A320 and A321ceos

By 2050, the global aviation sector hopes to be carbon-neutral or net-zero. Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, has pledged to achieve net-carbon zero by 2070 for the country, which is still a developing market. One of the milestones is the greater usage of sustainable aviation fuel, which is a fuel made from a range of sustainable feedstocks including used cooking oil, agricultural waste, green hydrogen, and so forth.

Also read: ICAO signs MoU with International Solar Alliance, an initiative proposed by PM Modi to keep CO2 emissions in check

(With inputs from TOI)