Put simply, the emissions associated with our jet fuel use are our single largest environmental impact, accounting for the majority of our total emissions footprint. Virgin Australia is seeking to minimise our emissions in a number of ways, in particular, through our fleet renewal program, comprehensive fuel efficiency programs, our focus on sustainable aviation fuels, and cooperation with key partners.

Virgin Australia is actively assessing all available options to not only help deliver our net zero 2050 commitment, but also to develop tangible emissions reductions this decade.

Fleet renewal program

Operating an efficient aircraft fleet is critical to making our emissions as low as possible. Virgin Australia has been growing and modernising its fleet, supplementing our fleet of 737 NG aircraft with Boeing 737-8s which will produce 15 per cent lower emissions per journey. This program will continue with the addition of 25 Boeing 737-10s which will reduce emissions by 17 per cent per seat trip. We are also phasing out our older fleet of F100 aircraft used in our VARA business, to be replaced by more fuel efficient 737-700 aircraft.

Fuel efficiency

We have a dedicated fuel efficiency team who oversee our fuel efficiency program and implement fuel efficiency-initiatives including fuel policy optimisation, aircraft weight reduction and the use of technology to monitor and reduce fuel use. Operational changes introduced include single-engine taxiing, installation of scimitar winglets on select aircraft and a focus on reduced use of the Auxiliary Power Unit. These and other technology and innovation projects, education, and training have enhanced fuel savings and reduced emissions.

Aircraft fuel efficiency can be affected by a range of factors such as weather and congestion. For this reason, Virgin Australia invests heavily in systems to accurately forecast weather patterns and works closely with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to source the best available data to improve safety and the efficiency of flight plans. The coordination of airspace in Australia and our region is a complex and important task.

International participation

The international aviation industry has prioritised the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through targets set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). IATA has set a target for the global air transport industry to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This commitment will align with the Paris Agreement goal for global warming not to exceed 1.5°C.

Through our participation in Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ) we have supported a roadmap for sustainable flying to reach net zero by 2050.

Sustainable aviation fuel

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) presents a significant opportunity for airlines to reduce their impact on the environment. Read more about Virgin Australia's role in developing a commercially viable sustainable aviation fuel industry in Australia 

Carbon offsetting

Offsetting the emissions associated with your flight is a great way to minimise the impacts of flying. Read more about our Fly Carbon Neutral program and other ways Virgin Australia is supporting projects.