LATAM Airlines will upgrade more than 200 A320 aircraft
Aircraft will now have the descent profile optimization feature to save fuel
LATAM Airlines is updating its A320 Family fleet with Airbus' "Descent Profile Optimization" (DPO) feature, a fuel economy enhancement in the on-board Flight Management System (FMS) performance database. of the airplane. This upgrade will be made on more than 200 aircraft in its A320 Family fleet, making it the largest Airbus fleet equipped with this powerful fuel-saving solution.
All the equipment kits necessary for the installation of the DPO performance software in the LATAM A320 Family fleet will begin to be delivered from the end of 2021 to the beginning of 2022.
The DPO function enables aircraft to descend from cruising altitude using only idle engine thrust, reducing fuel consumption, providing proportional reductions in CO2 and NOx (nitrogen oxide emissions). To further improve fuel reduction, DPO maximizes the time spent in the efficient cruise level - by not initiating the descent too early - and subsequently minimizes the time spent in an inefficient "leveling" stage in the bottom of the descent, when the aircraft engines generate thrust to maintain level flight in dense air prior to final approach to landing.
Optimizing the flight path of the aircraft is one of the key factors to improve efficiency in cooperation with air traffic control. By optimizing the descent paths of its aircraft and reducing the fuel flow to the engines - from the lowest thrust setting "idle" during the descent phase - thanks to the DPO function, LATAM Airlines will save more of 100 tons of fuel per year per plane throughout its network, including airports with restrictions such as Lima, Santiago and São Paulo. This will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 300 tons per year per aircraft, making a significant contribution to more sustainable flight operations with 60,000 tons of CO2 per year for the entire LATAM Airlines A320 Family fleet.
DPO is one of several flight operations optimization solutions offered by Airbus and its flight operations services subsidiary Navblue. Along with improved air traffic management, these fuel-saving solutions enable operators to begin decarbonizing aviation now.