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Sustainability in Widerøe

PHOTO Sverre Hjørnevik

Widerøe’s ambition is to become one of the first airlines in the world to be emission free. To achieve this, specific changes are required – and they are well under way.

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Our environmental measures

Widerøe strive towards being “the green airline”. We are working on a number of incentives and projects to achieve our goal.

Technology

Widerøe has invested in technology and knowledge for optimising speed and approach for every flight. Through analyses and training pilots, we have reduced the use of fuel – by doing so we have achieved a 10% reduction in emissions from our propeller aircrafts.

Embraer 190-E2

Widerøe has invested in the industry’s most environmentally-friendly jet plane of its class, the Embraer 190-E2. The aircraft has 17 percent lower CO2 emissions than its predecessor, and there is no other aircraft of this size with lower emissions. 

Punctuality

Keeping to timetables leads to a more environmentally-friendly operation. In the event of delays, we use more fuel in order reduce delays. For 2020, Widerøe hopes to regain its position as one of the world’s most punctual airlines. 

European climate policies

All Widerøe flights are included in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The system is the EU’s most important policy to combat climate change. This system means that a number of sectors, including aviation, must pay for their CO2 emissions. 

Biofuel

As of 2020, Widerøe has adopted sustainable biofuels. The minimum requirement is that 0.5 percent of the traditional fuel consumption is replaced with biofuels, but it can be up to 50 percent. However, challenges include limited supplies and high costs. Today, biofuels are only available in Oslo and Bergen.

Widerøe and Rolls-Royce – The zero emissions target

In 2019, Widerøe entered into a collaboration with Rolls-Royce on the development of zero-emissions aircrafts.  The aim of the project is to develop an electric aircraft which both meets the Norwegian zero emissions target for 2030, and replaces Widerøe’s fleet of fossil fuel-powered aircraft on the domestic short runway network.

The aim of Project Zero is to influence manufacturers to develop an electric aircraft for the Norwegian STOL* network, and have this ready for implementation from 2030. This is no easy task. (*Short Take- off and Landing).

Work with aircraft manufacturers and other technology suppliers. Share our operational knowledge and requirements.

Show that the market is big enough to justify the development of zero-emissions aircraft. This is done through partnerships with players with common interests in Europe. 

Work with national and international authorities to ensure incentives correspond to the Norwegian EV policy, in order for the investment and operation of electric aircraft to be profitable for airlines. Initially focusing on operations in Norway and the EU.

Work with suppliers to ensure necessary infrastructure. 

Support the work of environmentally-aware politicians by demonstrating the opportunities an electrification of STOL* airports provides people, business and tourism in rural areas. (*Short Take-off and Landing)

Your contribution as a passanger

As a customer you can contribute to a more sustainable way of air travel. Air travel is essential for mobility in extensive and topographically-challenging countries such as Norway, where there are often neither environmentally-friendly nor time-effective travel options. How can you make wiser and more climate-conscious choices?

Pack light, pack smart

The total weight of the aircraft determines how much fuel it burns, in turn determining the amount of CO2 emitted.  Think about your packing needs: pack light, pack smart!

Travel together 

Travel by public transport to the airport where possible. If you’re travelling in a group, work this out together. 

Arrive in good time before departure.

Help us follow timetables so that we don’t have to use unnecessary fuel to catch up with lost time. Show up well before your departure, and check your baggage in, so that the boarding process can go smoothly and the flight departs according to schedule.

Short trips

How about a short-haul journey instead of a longer flight? Our own country of Norway has many great experiences on offer.  What about a long weekend in Tromsø, or a cycling trip along the Helgeland coast? Browse our domestic destinations to find inspiration <URL here> 

Purchase of biofuel

As a Widerøe customer, you can contribute to a faster transition to biofuels. If you purchase your ticket through wideroe.no, you can easily add biofuels and reduce your carbon footprint. 100% of the fee goes towards the purchase of sustainable biofuels.

Preparation for zero emissions air travel

Widerøe want to do more, but we also need your help. From 2014 to 2017, emissions on domestic routes were reduced by 14%. This is good, but the challenge is that Norwegian emissions overall are increasing. The same goes for international air traffic.

Widerøe’s input into the aviation policy of the future:

CO2 fund

We urge the authorities to establish and build a CO2 fund. The fund should promote the use of biofuels and the development of future infrastructure for zero-emissions air travel.

Passenger duty

The air passenger duty should vary according to the length of the journey. This will lower the environmental impact while also maintaining the important flights offered to rural locations. Today, the fees are higher per seat/kilometre for small aircrafts flying shorter distances than they are for larger ones flying further. 

Government

The government should accommodate the transition to zero-emissions air travel when they become commercially available through the following measures:

  • VAT exemption on airfare for travel on electric aircraft with zero emissions
  • Reduced aviation taxes for electric aircraft
  • Facilitation of charging infrastructure at Norwegian airports
  • Requirement to use electric aircraft on subsidised PSO routes
Rolls-royce electrical perlach site aviation development

Photo

Rolls-Royce