As part of its Fly Quiet and Clean initiative under its noise abatement program, London’s Heathrow Airport released its newest “League Table” for Q1 of 2017, with British Airways’ short-haul flights coming up on top for most environmentally and neighbor-friendly, while El Al of Israel took the last place slot.
Heathrow Airport announced that 24 of the 50 airlines surveyed did not meet the goals put in place in at least one of the categories. Airlines are assigned a score in each category, which are added together; airlines are then ranked by their overall score. The League Table was put into place in order to publicly shame airlines in hope of pushing them to undertake environmentally-friendly changes in terms of their operations at Heathrow. The categories include noise efficiency in terms of seats available with the aircraft utilized, noise emissions, engine emissions, efficient landing practices and night operations. You can view the specific categories here on the Fly Quiet and Clean website.
El Al, Israel’s national carrier came last in the list; they failed to receive passing scores five out of seven of these categories. The airline only received a passing grade in the Track keeping (TK) violations category, which measures the frequency of planes traveling outside of preferred noise flight paths, and received a mediocre grade in the engine emissions certification category.
El Al commonly uses a mix of aircraft on its flights to London Heathrow, ranging from its Boeing 737 aircraft, which carry between 154 and 172 passengers, to its Boeing 747 aircraft, which carry up to 455 passengers. El Al sports an old fleet; its Boeing 737 fleet is the youngest, with an average age of 7.7 years, however, its Boeing 747 and Boeing 767 fleet have an average age of almost 22 years, leading to its poor performance in the noise and engine emissions categories. However, the airline just announced that it is introducing the Boeing 787 Dreamliner towards the end of this year, which will hopefully provide a boost to El Al in all of these categories, plus passenger comfort.
British Airways’ short haul operation placed first, followed by IAG partner Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Finnair. US Airlines faired well, with American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines ranked at #6, #7 and #9 respectively. The bottom of the chart was dominated by Middle Eastern airlines, with Jet Airways (India) at #45, Oman Air at #46, Pakistan International Airlines at #47, Middle East Airlines (Lebanon) at #48 and Kuwait Airways at #49.
To see the full list of rankings, visit the Heathrow Fly Quiet and Clean website here.