Finnair is seeking to reduce its emissions by both adopting new technology and making operational decisions, says Päivyt Tallqvist, the head of media relations at the state-owned airline. (Handout – Finnair)

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A TOTAL OF EIGHT European airlines registered a larger increase in their carbon dioxide emissions last year than the 6.9 per cent registered by Ryanair, the airline with the highest carbon dioxide emissions and the first airline to enter the list of 10 biggest polluters in Europe.

One of the eight airlines was Finnair, which emitted slightly over 11 per cent more carbon dioxide than in the previous year.

Päivyt Tallqvist, the head of media relations at Finnair, stated to Talouselämä on Wednesday that the increase in carbon dioxide emissions is a consequence of rapid traffic growth experienced by the state-owned airline.

“Emissions covered by the EU’s emissions trading system increased by 11.2 per cent last year. Finnair’s European traffic, measured in available seat kilometres, grew by 15.2 per cent last year. The number includes routes that aren’t covered by the emissions trading scheme, namely Dubai, Russia, the Canary Islands and Switzerland,” she explained to the business magazine.

Another factor contributing to the increase is that a large share of the airline’s volume is made up by passengers connecting in Helsinki while en route from Asia to Europe, or vice versa.

Tallqvist said Finnair is seeking to slash its emissions by both introducing new technology and making operational decisions. The airline, for example, has added a new Airbus A321 to its fleet in Europe, and increased the seat capacity and introduced other changes to the interiors of its existing fleet of Airbus aircraft in Europe.

“[The renovations] led to a roughly 150-kilo drop in the tare weight of each aircraft, thanks to which fuel consumption fell by roughly 450 tonnes a year. We’re also looking to reduce emissions by optimising flight routes, flight altitudes and flight speeds,” she said.

Finnair reported worldwide carbon dioxide emissions of 3.2 million tonnes in 2018, higher than all but one industrial facility in Finland: the steel mill of SSAB in Raahe, which produced carbon dioxide emissions of roughly four million tonnes.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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