This study investigates the emission mitigation potential of retiring passenger aircraft economically at the global fleet level. In an integrated model of the air transport system, fleet turnover aspects of the global passenger aircraft fleet are defined using aircraft lifetime direct operating costs. Two fleet renewal strategies are compared in the study. The growth strategy (the baseline scenario) prioritises aircraft allocation for serving demand growth and replacing aircraft retired at the end of their design lives, before replacing those that are retired because of their operating cost disadvantage. Conversely, the replacement strategy allocates global aircraft production capacity first for replacing aircraft that are retired based on their operating cost disadvantage and those retired on reaching their design life limit, before serving growth in air travel demand. Results show that in year 2024, emission savings of three percent were achieved at the global fleet level using the Replacement Strategy, when compared to the baseline. Afterwards, due to the unavailability of newer efficient aircraft, emission savings diminish to two percent (around 40 million tonnes of CO2). This research is useful to aviation stakeholders in having an overview of expected emission savings of the proposed strategic measure.
Part of the book: Environmental Impact of Aviation and Sustainable Solutions