Fuel Efficiency at Qantas

Our target set in 2009 is to improve fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5% per year to 2020.

At Qantas, we recognise that jet fuel consumption represents our largest environmental impact. That is why we have a team of dedicated pilots, engineers and flight planners on our team of Fuel Optimisation experts working to reduce our fuel consumption and improve our operating efficiency.


The Qantas Group aims to deliver an improvement in fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5% per year to 2020 (measured as litres of fuel/100 Revenue Tonne Kilometres).

IATA's Stated Vision


As a member of the International Aviation Transport Association (IATA), the Qantas Group has endorsed the IATA's stated vision to achieve carbon neutral growth and to see the airline industry operating with no net carbon emissions within 50 years. Read more about how IATA is addressing environmental issues.

What we are doing

Improving our fuel efficiency is a major part of our environmental improvement strategy. As fuel use accounts for 95% of our business' climate change impact, we see fuel efficiency as one of our company's greatest opportunities to minimise our footprint.

Investing in Newer, More Efficient Aircraft

One highly effective way of improving our fuel efficiency is by investing in new generation fuel efficient aircraft. The fuel efficiency and lower emissions technology of newer aircraft will contribute significantly to the cost and environmental savings required for the Qantas Group's long term sustainability.

  • A380 - The A380 burns less fuel per passenger and emits substantially less noise than the B747, which it is largely replacing.
  • B787 - The B787 will offer a greater than 20% reduction in fuel consumption per passenger and a 50% smaller noise footprint compared with the B767.
  • Q400 - On regional routes, the Q400 burns 35% less fuel than similar-sized jet aircraft.

Advanced Navigational Aircraft Technology

To improve our fuel efficiency, we are constantly implementing and adopting innovative navigational and operational technologies. These include:

  • Required Navigation Performance (RNP)
  • Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B)
  • Dynamic Aircraft Route Planning (DARP)
  • Tailored Arrivals
  • Constant Descent Approaches (CDAs)
  • Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)

Reducing Aircraft Weight

Reducing the weight of our aircraft is another way that we have effectively improved our fuel efficiency. Weight reductions are primarily achieved in the following areas:

  • Unnecessary Items: Optimising the food, drink and catering equipment carried onboard is a simple way of reducing our weight. For example, on our 747 aircraft, we've been able to reduce carrying excess potable water onboard by carrying a quantity suitable for the actual number of passengers onboard.
  • Lighter Equipment: investing in lighter equipment onboard helps us to reduce our load without impacting customer service. Innovations in lighter seats and carpets, catering equipment, meal trolleys and stowage containers are examples of some of the things we've successfully replaced.
  • Freight: Replacing cargo containers with light weight options has helped us to reduce this element of aircraft weight. Improving our processes in estimation of final aircraft freight weight reduces the transportation of unnecessary fuel.

Flight Planning Improvements

Flight plans - the path that we choose to fly between locations - can change the amount of fuel that we burn. Rather than always flying the same path between locations, we are always improving the accuracy of our flight planning systems to create the most fuel efficient path possible.

Improved Aerodynamic Performance

Optimising the aerodynamic performance of our aircraft contributes to the fuel efficiency of our operations. We improve aircraft aerodynamics by conducting regular aircraft and engine compressor washes and flight control rigging checks.

Improved Schedules

Fuel efficiency improvements can also be achieved by enhancing scheduling decisions. For example, adjusting the timing of our flights allows us to get better fuel efficiency. Scheduling can also shorten holding periods, allowing us to burn less fuel when waiting to land. The Qantas Group works with Air Traffic Service Providers (ATSPs) to improve holding patterns and even improve our noise footprint. In fact, we work with ATSPs across the globe to find ways of continuously improving fuel efficiency measures.

Optimised Loading

The way an aircraft is loaded can also impact the fuel efficiency of a flight. That is why we ensure that our aircraft are properly balanced to burn less fuel.

How you could help

  • Pack less luggage when you travel to reduce the energy required
  • Carbon offset your flights when you need to fly
  • Walk or ride a bike instead of driving for a healthy alternative.
  • Try carpooling or public transport.
  • Switch your car for one that is smaller, hybrid or electric powered by renewable electricity. Learn more
  • Don't forget, every little bit helps.

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