Changing plane seats can save the environment? Who knew?

It can help reduce fuel consumption by more than 70,000 liters and lower carbon dioxide emissions by 200 tonnes per aircraft per year. Source: Shutterstock.

AN AIRPLANE emits particles and gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, lead, and black carbon which interact among themselves and with the atmosphere.

In the recent years, there has been a rapid growth in CO2 emissions from air travel and air freight as passenger kilometers and the demand for air travel continue to increase. As such, airlines are bent on reducing carbon dioxide emissions in a bid to save the environment.

United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) flag carrier Etihad Airways eliminated around 195,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions last year, the airline announced, thanks to a wide range of fuel-saving initiatives across its network.

The initiatives include adjustments to reduce flying time by approximately 900 hours, leading to a saving of 5,400 tonnes of fuel and eliminating approximately 17,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

And also retiring older several older aircraft in favor of the Boeing 787, one of the most fuel-efficient commercial aircraft in operation due to its lightweight composite structure.

Aerial view of an Etihad Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Source: Shutterstock

Multiple award-winning low-cost airline AirAsia is also stepping up their green game, one plane seat at a time.

The airline announced new Formula One-inspired seats which will be installed in existing Airbus A320 aircraft and incoming A320neo aircraft.

Made from carbon fiber, aluminum, and genuine leather upholstery, it is ergonomically optimized for comfort, passenger living space, and style.

“Not only is this premium seat more comfortable and boasts more legroom but it also weighs less, which is good for our guests, our bottom line, and the environment as well,” The Star quoted AirAsia Group chief executive officer and AirAsia X co-group chief executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes as saying.

The lighter economy class seat is expected to help AirAsia reduce fuel consumption by more than 70,000 liters and lower carbon dioxide emissions by 200 tonnes per aircraft per year.

AirAsia’s new seats will help lower carbon dioxide emissions by 200 tonnes per aircraft per year. Source: AirAsia

AirAsia is the first carrier to use the Mirus Hawk seats. The seats are assembled in Norfolk, Britain and draw on Formula One engineering expertise.

Fernandes added that more innovations are on the way to cater to AirAsia passengers, including a personal electronic device holder and high power 2A USB port to charge devices.