In February 2008, we were lucky enough to unveil the Dreamliner to business travel buyers at the Business Travel Show in London. Four years on and it has finally taken to the skies, as reported recently on BBC Breakfast. The impact it will have on the business traveller has been widely reported, but I’m more interested in what the launch means to the business travel buyer, particularly on an environmental level.
The Dreamliner is often compared to the Airbus A380, simply because they are the two most recent long-haul launches. But while Airbus has focused on increasing capacity to reduce environmental impact by creating the lowest fuel-burn-per-seat ratio, Boeing has achieved its environmental credentials in an entirely different way altogether.
Boeing has created a medium sized plane with two engine platforms (Airbus has four) and engineers have also used the highest carbon composite to date resulting in a plan that’s 20 per cent lighter and, as a result, 20 per cent more fuel efficient than existing planes of the same size.
With 821 orders for Boeing compared to 236 for the Airbus, the market seems to be voting for the Dreamliner, but it will be interesting to see how the travel buyers vote. But comparisons aside, the fact that both airlines are now entering the design process with ‘green’ at the top of the agenda, is surely a good move for everyone.
Posted by David Chapple