Airbus’ Descent Profile Optimization Function Chosen by Air Canada for its A320 and A330 Fleets

Airbus announced that Canada’s largest airline, Air Canada, has chosen to install its “Descent Profile Optimization” (DPO) function on the airline’s A320 and A330 Families. The enhancement to the aircraft’s on-board Flight Management System (FMS) performance database generates fuel savings and reduces C02 emissions through optimization of the aircraft’s flight trajectory during descent.

Air Canada will install the DPO solution on 48 of its A320ceo Family aircraft and 18 A330ceo aircraft.  

The DPO function enables aircraft to use an optimum engine model to compute the profile of the descent, requesting less fuel when the engine is using idle thrust. It reduces fuel consumption, resulting in proportional C02 and NOx reductions. In addition, it maximizes the time spent at efficient cruise level by setting the top of descent later in the profile. The inefficient level-off stage is reduced by the FMS during the computation of the profile, without affecting the approach speed of the final approach.

“Air Canada has committed to an ambitious goal of achieving net zero carbon neutrality by 2050. One of the measures we will use to achieve this target is through our operations by flying aircraft more efficiently to reduce fuel burn. Apart from limiting emissions, consuming less fuel also benefits the bottom line because fuel is typically one of the airline’s greatest expenses,” said Murray Strom, Senior Vice President, Flight Operations and Maintenance, Air Canada. 

Air Canada, the country’s flag carrier, operates a fleet of more than 125 Airbus aircraft, including 78 A320 Family aircraft, 16 A330 Family aircraft and 31 A220-300 aircraft. Air Canada also has a direct order for 10 A321XLRs. Last year, Air Canada and Airbus announced a double-digit million CAD investment in climate solutions company Carbon Engineering to help accelerate decarbonisation solutions. 

“The DPO solution will help Air Canada achieve an estimated 70 tons of fuel per aircraft/per year on their A320 fleet (220 tons eq C02), and an estimated 110 tons per aircraft/per year on their A330 fleet (340 tons eq C02), enabling more efficient operations,” said Dominik Wacht, Airbus head of customer services for North America. “In addition, it brings the ceo fleet up to the neo standard of operations. This is another contributor to Air Canada’s decarbonization ambition.”