Thursday, 1 June 2017

Biofuels: The cost of going green

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Having pledged to pursue carbon-neutral growth from 2020 onwards at last year’s ICAO Assembly, airlines are committed to reducing the environmental cost of flying even as they gear up for decades of continued growth in air transport.

Initially, this will be achieved through the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) – a market-based mechanism that plugs the gap between the industry’s targeted emissions and its actual output. For every year that airlines exceed their emissions quotas, they have agreed to invest in UN-approved carbon-reduction schemes that mitigate the resultant environmental damage.

However, CORSIA is just one component in a basket of long-term measures aimed at achieving carbon neutrality. The other three are technological improvements, such as more fuel-efficient engines; operational advancements, such as better air-traffic management; and sustainable fuels, which are more commonly referred to as biofuels...

Interview: Piya Yodmani, NokScoot CEO

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page 38/39 & page 40

When the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) red flagged Thailand for “significant safety concerns” in 2015, no airline suffered more than NokScoot, the low-cost long-haul carrier jointly owned by Thailand’s Nok Air and Singapore’s Scoot.

The start-up had just initiated charter flights to Japan and South Korea – its two main target markets – and was weeks away from maturing the links into regular scheduled services. Before it could do so, however, ICAO issued the red-flag warning and both countries stopped granting new route approvals for Thai operators.

Chief executive Piya Yodmani admits that the disruption was a “big headache” for the airline, allowing rival Thai AirAsia X to cement its one-year head-start in the all-important Northeast Asian market. But he says the company is now back on track, reporting its first ever quarterly profit in May and rekindling plans for Japanese and South Korean flights as soon as ICAO gives the green light to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT)...