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Amelia’s Solenne Regourd: "Our vision of what makes a flight eco-friendly has changed!"

Mar 24. 2022  The Thales Aerospace blog spoke with Solenne Regourd, Head of the Amelia Green energy transition project at the airline Amelia. Discover how Amelia is taking steps towards more sustainable aviation, notably on the very short term through the use of Thales’s Flight Footprints estimator!

Can you tell us all about Amelia?

Amelia has been operating in the world sky for more than 40 years ever since the Regourd group was founded in 1976. Our vocation today is to be a French regional airline serving the territories. We have developed over several decades, particularly in Africa, by offering business flights between air hubs and workplaces. Five years ago we repositioned ourselves by anticipating a separation between the domestic and international markets, followed by the delegation by Air France of four regional routes.

And today you are a fully-fledged airline!

Yes, since January 2020 we have also been flying under our own flag, directly offering passengers flights from cities such as Rodez, Clermont-Ferrand and Brive to Paris, as well as Strasbourg-Munich connections, etc. We now operate five routes on our own, while maintaining our charter flights and transporting sports teams. Amelia's DNA is based on adaptability, responsiveness, reliability and autonomy, for example in the maintenance of our aircraft (Embraer 135 and 145, ATR 72-600 and 42-500, A319...). We have a reliability rate of over 99% and a very high customer satisfaction rate.

What are the origins of the Amelia Green project?

During the Covid crisis, which we were able to overcome thanks in particular to the support of regional authorities, we identified our next major challenge: to make a success of the transition to sustainable aviation. We considered that as an airline we had responsibilities to assume with the whole aeronautical ecosystem, that is to provide our support to green initiatives in all the ways we could, and that we had to consider this as an opportunity to adopt more virtuous practices and to stimulate new markets.

How does the Amelia Green project work?

We are pragmatic! Being a relatively small airline is an asset to be agile, responsive, put good ideas to the test, and implement those that have real impact. We have simply been knocking on the doors of various players such as start-ups or bigger players such as Thales, to study how to work together to put their ideas and innovations into practice, and to capitalize on these encounters to transform ourselves little by little. In the area of engines, for example, we are working with the start-up Universal Hydrogen, with the aim of integrating the first hybrid engine kits on our aircraft by 2025. As for flight operations and trajectories, we are working with Thales using the Flights Footprints Estimator, which aims to assess the environmental impact of a flight according to various operational and meteorological criteria.

How did the cooperation with Thales take shape?

After making contact and receiving a very warm welcome, we quickly made the decision to work together. We discussed the usefulness of the Flights Footprint Estimator, how to implement it and the routes to study. At the end of summer 2021, Amelia formally committed to dedicate time and resources to test this Thales Proof of Concept. During the final quarter of 2021 we conducted trials based on our flight history ahead of deploying the tool on “live” flights.

What are the initial learnings?

The magic of Flights Footprint is that it takes into account both CO2 and non-CO2. Using it has allowed us to completely rethink what makes a flight eco-friendly and imagine levers to reduce our environmental impact on the very short term! We have also realized there are creative things to do, such as strengthening teamwork with air traffic control to optimize trajectories.

What happens next?

The next step will be the actual use of the Flights Footprint Estimator to have real data on the impact on our flights on the French regional network. By imagining alternative low-impact trajectories, we hope to make rapid progress. We are delighted with this partnership with Thales, as well as the headway made with other players in the Amelia Green project. The agility everyone is demonstrating is enabling us to advance quickly and move the entire air transport sector forward.

Thank you, Solenne!

 

Thales and Amelia are working together to study the airline's flight data, using the Flights Footprint Estimator application developed by Thales to provide an objective impact analysis of the company's operations.

The analysis will provide a clearer picture of flights and trajectories and propose optimised flight paths to bring near-term reductions in the regional airline's environmental footprint in line with its Amelia Green energy transition project.

The Flights Footprint Estimator is part of Thales's strategy of utilising advanced technologies to fight global warming. Based on the latest research and developed in cooperation with academic and industry partners, the application calculates the objective climate impact of the flight path of each aircraft, including potential CO2 emissions, NOx emissions and condensation trails.

 

Tags:

#airline #Flights Footprint #Green aviation #Sustainable aviation

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