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Air France Spending Billions to Reduce CO2

airfrance2.jpgAir France said it plans to spend almost $3 billion a year through 2020 on modernizing its fleet of aircraft and other measures to improve its environmental credentials, reports WSJ. Air France chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta said his airline plans to reduce its average fuel consumption per passenger 15 to 2o percent by 2012. It also wants to reduce its CO2 emissions 20 percent by 2012, compared with 2005, on routes between France and its overseas territories and by five percent on domestic routes.

In May, Air France said it would replace its entire fleet of 18 Boeing 747 jets with the more fuel-efficient Boeing 777-300ER wide-body aircraft. At the same time, it is replacing its early-generation Airbus A320 aircraft that were put into service in 1988 and 1989 with 30 more modern and more efficient A320s and A321s.

Last summer, EU transport ministers gave their approval to a European Commission proposal for airlines to meet quotas either by reducing their emissions or buying carbon dioxide credits from other industries. And last fall, The European Parliament gave preliminary approval to a global warming control plan that would require, beginning in 2011, that airlines flying to and from Europe offset some of their emissions by buying carbon dioxide allowances on the open market.

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