Eco-Friendly Flights: How Emirates Pilots Minimise Fuel Burn and Emissions

Emirates' Green Ops cut fuel burn by over 48,000 tonnes in FY 2023-24

Emirates SAF Flight
Photo/ Emirates

Emirates (EK) has placed environmental responsibility at the forefront of its operations through its “Green Operating Procedures” (Green Ops) initiative.

Launched in 2016, Green Ops is a multi-faceted program designed to minimise fuel consumption and carbon emissions throughout the entire flight journey, as outlined by Emirates.

In addition to targeting minimising fuel usage, the Green Ops equips pilots with the necessary education, data analytics, and advanced technology to optimise flight management, ensuring the highest levels of safety are always maintained.


Key Achievements

According to Emirates, Green Ops combined with other operational initiatives, has yielded significant environmental benefits in the last financial year (2023-2024).

The airline revealed a reduction in fuel burn by over 48,000 tonnes and a decrease in carbon emissions by more than 151,000 tonnes.

Emirates' Green Ops Infographic
Green Ops Infographic (Emirates)

How EK’s Green Ops Works

Green Ops encompasses a variety of measures implemented both in the air and on the ground including:

Discretionary Extra Fuel: Pilots are empowered to make informed decisions regarding additional fuel based on data and analysis, reducing unnecessary fuel uplift.

Flight Speed Optimisation: Considering factors like fuel efficiency and maintaining schedules, pilots may adjust flight speeds to minimise fuel consumption.

Reduced Flap Landing: Emirates pilots prioritise flap configurations that minimise drag for efficient landings without compromising safety.

Idle Reverse Thrust: Upon landing, pilots utilise idle reverse thrust whenever possible to reduce fuel burn during deceleration.

Reduced Engine Taxi-In (RETI): By shutting down non-essential engines during taxiing, fuel consumption is lowered.

Optimised Flight Routings: Working with air traffic control, Emirates utilises efficient flight paths to minimise fuel usage and flight time.

Technology and Innovation – Flight Pulse: Pilots are equipped with FlightPulse, a data analytics tool that provides insights into flight performance and fuel efficiency.

Centre of Gravity Optimisation: Emirates ensures optimal aircraft loading to enhance fuel efficiency.

APU Usage: Ground operations prioritise using electrical ground power units (GPU) over the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to reduce emissions.

Adjusted Potable Water Uplift: Emirates employs a precise calculation method to determine the exact amount of water needed per flight, reducing unnecessary weight and fuel usage.

*“Green Operations” (‘Green Ops’) is a term used internally by flight operations personnel and pilots at Emirates as part of a programme which incorporates a number of measures to reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions.