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Riyadh Air to use AI for climate-friendly flight routes

The airline has ordered 72 Boeing 787s aircrafts that are carbon-efficient

Riyadh Air to use AI for climate-friendly flight routes
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]
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Airlines around the world are committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Middle Eastern airlines are among the most active in addressing climate goals, according to the head of the International Air Transport Association.

This goal includes a gradual increase in the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The newly released roadmaps provide details on how airlines will achieve this goal, including critical actions, interim milestones, and ways to track progress.

The roadmaps cover aircraft technology, energy infrastructure, operations, finance, and policies.

According to its CEO Peter Bellew, Riyadh Air is one airline that has shown commitment to these sustainability goals, using artificial intelligence (AI) to track the least carbon-emitting flight routes. 

Bellew discussed how the company is putting sustainability concerns at the center of its development during a panel discussion at the UN World Tourism Day 2023 held from September 27-28 in the Saudi capital.

The airline has ordered 72 Boeing 787s, described by the executive as “the most carbon-efficient aircraft out there.”

As a startup, Riyadh Air does not have legacy systems, which gives it an advantage in implementing sustainable practices. 

The airline also uses IT systems to track each crew member’s carbon footprint and encourage eco-friendly practices. 

Additionally, Riyadh Air is exploring environmentally conscious systems at airports, such as electric and hydrogen-powered ground equipment.

“We’re going to track in a unique way every single step and every part of our business [to see how] we can reduce our carbon emissions, how we can improve fuel usage, how we can use artificial intelligence to assist us and the optimal flight paths, flight routings, and all those things together,” Bellew said.

Bellew also mentioned the airline’s aim to use eco-friendly hydrogen energy by 2030, aligning the carrier with prospective sustainability principles. 

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