EasyJet and Bristol airport claim they have achieved “close to zero” emission aircraft turnarounds by using electric-powered ground equipment instead of diesel.
The initiative is part of a collaboration between the airline and the airport to decarbonise ground operations.
The trial results showed a 97% reduction in CO2 emissions using data produced throughout September.
EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “We want to play our part to lead the decarbonisation of aviation, so we are delighted to see the results of this successful trial which has create a meaningful reduction in operational emissions by embracing the technology available to us today.
“The learnings from the Bristol trial will help us shape our sustainability strategy for future operational changes – all of which will help enable easyJet’s transition towards our goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”
Dave Lees, chief executive at Bristol airport, added: “As an airport we are taking our commitments to address climate change seriously and this trial is only one initiative we are delivering on towards achieving a net zero airport operation by 2030.”
Rival low-cost carrier Ryanair has launched electric handling at 11 major European airports – Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Mallorca, Seville, Santiago, Valencia, Amsterdam Schipol, Gothenburg-Landvetter and Oslo – “enabling zero emission turnarounds”.
Thomas Fowler, Ryanair’s sustainability director, said: “The launch of electric handling at 11 of our European airports is a major step in Ryanair’s pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.
“The turnaround process incorporates a number of steps and pieces of electric equipment – including electric baggage tractor, electric baggage belt loader, passenger steps, electric ground power, and electric push back tractor which assists the aircraft with exiting the aircraft parking position – and this process is now carried out emission-free at these 11 locations.”