AeroLogic, the joint-venture between DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo operating 777 freighters, has become the first cargo airline to implement OptiClimb, a fuel saving digital solution developed by Safety Line, that recommends customized speeds to pilots for each climb.
Reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions is a challenge for cargo operators. Although the Covid-19 crisis has had less impact on cargo operations, it has further enhanced the general drive for more sustainability in aviation.
AeroLogic says they are more committed than ever to pro-actively save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions. Climbout is one of the most fuel-consuming phases of the flight, especially for operator’s fully loaded 777Fs. Thereby, it offers the most potential for savings, but it is also the most complex phase, with many parameters changing simultaneously as the aircraft ascends. Using Machine Learning to optimize climb speeds, Machine Learning addresses this complexity.
By building performance models for each aircraft based on historical flight data, OptiClimb allows analysis of thousands of scenarios taking into account individual aircraft performance and accurate 4D weather forecasts to recommend optimal climb speeds to pilots for each flight. Further to an OptiClimb trial involving more than 1,000 flights, AeroLogic has demonstrated average fuel savings of 234kg per climb, which could translate into a fleetwide carbon footprint reduction of at least 5,000 tons of CO2 per year.
In addition to implementing OptiClimb, AeroLogic is working with Safety Line to explore further flight optimization opportunities in all flight phases. For instance, AeroLogic was the first cargo operator to successfully trial OptiDirect, a solution that recommends shortcuts to pilots based on historical tracks flown and forecasted weather on the route. “Within AeroLogic, sustainable operations is a priority for all,” according to managing director Joe Moser. “We are excited to innovate with OptiClimb. [It] empowers our pilots to further contribute to more efficient and greener operations.”