Low-cost airline easyJet will invest in the latest aircraft software from Airbus aimed at cutting costs on jet fuel and reducing noise impact on the ground.
The fleet-wide introduction was announced on September 26, 2022, and will see the low-cost carrier upgrade its A320 Family fleet with Airbus’ Descent Profile Optimisation (DPO) and the Continuous Descent Approach (CDA). The software will be installed as part of a Flight Management System (FMS) upgrade by the end of 2023.
How do the DPO and the CDA functions work?
According to Airbus, the DPO system will help easyJet to reduce its fuel consumption levels while optimizing the trajectory of all airline flights. Meanwhile, the CDA is expected to significantly lower aircraft noise impact.
The aerospace manufacturer claims that the DPO and CDA functions combined will allow jets to descend from cruise altitude using only idle engine thrust. This helps to reduce fuel consumption and minimizes both carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.
“To further enhance fuel reduction and noise impact, DPO and CDA maximize the time spent at efficient cruise level – by not starting the descent too early and removing the ‘level-off’ stage at the bottom of the descent when the aircraft’s engines generate thrust to maintain level flight in dense air before final landing approach,” Airbus explained in a statement.
Airbus estimates that the system upgrade, particularly the optimization of the plane flight trajectory, will significantly contribute to more sustainable easyJet flight operations. Once the DPO and CDA functions are installed, the carrier will save roughly 98,000 tons of fuel per year per plane.
In the meantime, the airline will cut its emissions by more than 311 tons per aircraft every year or around 88,600 tons of emissions every year for its entire A320 family fleet, which currently stands at more than 300 jets, Airbus added.