Air Canada Goes Green and Goes for Gold; Flies Canadian Olympic Team Members to London Games on Biofuel-Powered Flight

MONTREAL, July 24, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - With the departure this morning of Air Canada's flight AC864 Montreal-London, the airline will operate its second biofuel-powered flight which is expected to generate up to 10 per cent fewer emissions by using jet fuel derived from recycled cooking oil and through other fuel-saving measures. As the Official Airline of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams, Air Canada will have on board today's flight a number of Olympic athletes and officials on their way to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

"As the Official Airline of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams, Air Canada is proud to be flying Canadian athletes to London.  Just as our athletes strive for excellence in their athletic performance, Air Canada strives for excellence in its environmental performance," said Dave Legge, Senior Vice President - Operations at Air Canada. "Today we will be flying some of Canada's best athletes, in the best environmental way - using biofuel to reduce our carbon footprint."

Twenty per cent of the fuel required by the Airbus A330 used to operate this flight will be a 50/50 mix of regular jet fuel and biofuel derived from recycled cooking oil. This blend produced by SkyNRG has been recertified to normal jet fuel standards and can be safely used without modifying the aircraft's systems.

"Airbus is proud to be part of the world's first transatlantic bio fuel flight using an A330. Like the sports stars on board, we too have goals. More than 90 per cent of Airbus Research and Technology is directed at setting new records in environmental performance, including speeding up sustainable alternative fuel production and keeping the world connected," said Andrea Debbané, Airbus Vice President Environmental Affairs.

The Airbus A330 will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700s, which are the cleanest, quietest and most efficient engines available for the Airbus A330.  Rolls-Royce spends nearly $1.58 billion a year on research and development, in the relentless pursuit of innovative technology and product optimization. The Trent 700 benefits from this significant investment through continuous improvements in the engine's efficiency and further reduction of its impact on the environment.

Air Canada's first biofuel flight was on June 18, 2012 between Toronto and Mexico City as part of a series of commercial biofuel flights that took the secretary general of ICAO to the United Nations conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro.

Air Canada also uses other techniques and measures on its flights to reduce impact on the environment. These include:

Pre-flight maintenance preparation:

  • Fuselage wash and wax to improve aerodynamics
  • Engine compressor wash to increase efficiency

Pre-flight operations:

  • Minimizing emissions from on-board Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) through use of ground power at gate and use of conditioned air
  • Taxiing the aircraft to the runway with one engine
  • Minimizing taxi time to runway


  • Reduced thrust take-off
  • Air conditioning adjusted to save power


  • Immediate turn towards destination
  • Optimized climb to optimal cruise altitude


  • In conjunction with NavCanada ENGAGE programme, optimized cruise speed and altitude
  • Most direct flight routing


  • Constant descent using optimized descent rate along most direct routing


  • Direct taxi to gate with minimal delay
  • Taxiing the aircraft with one engine
  • Minimizing use of APU at gate through use of ground power.

Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents.  Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2011 served more than 33 million customers.  Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 59 Canadian cities, 56 destinations in the United States and 63 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America.  Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,290 destinations in 189 countries. In 2012, Air Canada was ranked Best International Airline in North America in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax, third consecutive year the airline is named a winner at Skytrax World Airline Awards.
Air Canada customers can collect Aeroplan miles for future rewards through Canada's leading loyalty program, and Top Tier members enjoy reciprocal frequent flyer benefits including lounge and priority services.  For more information visit, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.


For further information:

Isabelle Arthur (Montréal)  514 422-5788
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto)  416 263-5576
Angela Mah (Vancouver)  604 270-5741