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Commitment to the Environment

On the Alitalia’s sustainability path, the environmental commitment is reflected into continuous research and implementation of actions to significantly reduce its environmental impact.

The renewal fleet process allows Alitalia to have one of the youngest fleets in Europe, with best available technologies and engines ensuring more fuel efficiency and CO2 reduction as well as less noise.

A lot of fuel efficiency initiatives have been taken within the departments involved in the fuel management and consumption, from the maintenance to the ground and flight operations, in accordance with the safety standards required by aeronautical regulation.

Alitalia started an investigation on the use of biofuel for its aircraft.

Careful on the territorial needs, Alitalia supports initiatives to protect the biodiversity.

Fuel Efficiency and CO2 reduction

Starting from 2011, Alitalia has established a Fuel Management Department committed to start a full program of actions in the operating and planning areas related to all the different phases of a flight, from the maintenance to the ground and flight operations.

Such projects have been implemented to reduce weight on board, to improve the efficiency of the engines (through an internal procedure that requires an engine wash with a double frequency than the one provided by the industry standard), to achieve aerodynamic improvements by introducing modifications that allow a fuel consumption saving by 1%, to reduce auxiliary engine’s consumption by using alternative power generators with very lower consumptions, and to optimize fuel consumption through a set of initiatives on the flight planning and conduction.

For example, we mention the optimization on the aircraft use according to the payload, the routes optimization, a fuel policy oriented to make more efficient the fuel consumption, in full compliance with the safety standards required by aeronautical regulation.

In 2013 all of these initiatives have allowed Alitalia to save 18.000 tons of fuel and a lower CO2 emissions of 55.000 tons.

Overall since 2011 Alitalia has saved 52.000 tons of fuel equal to lower CO2 emissions of 164.000 tons.



logo SESAR DEFStarting from 2012, Alitalia has joined a project  sponsored by the European Commission under the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management (SESAR), in collaboration with the airlines Air France (Team Leader) and Hop, and the ANSPs (Air Navigation Service Providers) DSNA for France, ENAV for Italy and Skyguide for Switzerland, all of them committed to realize direct flights on shortest routes, in order to create a more efficient system of air traffic control.

This project, named WE FREE (Week End Free Route for Environmental Efficiency), is part of the AIRE (Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions) program, promoted by SESAR JU (Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking) and supported by EUROCONTROL (

The WE FREE project  entered the operational phase in the month of November 2013 , and the flights performed by Alitalia, Air France and Hop during the weekend 16-17 and 23-24 November, from Paris "Charles de Gaulle" to eight Italian destinations (for Alitalia Rome-Fiumicino e Milan-Linate), will use a better  trajectory, achieving significant environmental benefits through CO2 emissions reductions, cutting the time and distance flown, saving more than 3% of fuel burned, improving punctuality and contributing to the modernization of air traffic management system for the implementation of the "Single European Sky".

So the WE FREE project enables the ANSPs – Air Navigation Service Providers to reviewing the European airspace and its  management system trajectory to reduce the inefficiencies related to traffic congestion.

The Free Route, that is behind the project, aims to redefine the air routes to make them as short as possible. For the regional and medium haul flights, the best path is the great circle distance which is the shortest route between two points on the surface of a sphere.

The airways, which are portions of controlled airspace like a corridor where inside is guaranteed separation between aircraft, can be meant as "highways of the sky".

A typical airway consists of segments which connect different points upon the map identifying the path, and these airways define a network of paths that  let the aircraft move from one point to another along a trajectory, and in the meanwhile  circumvent those areas that for various reasons cannot be overflown.

Within this efficiency program, Alitalia is committed to reduce significantly its environmental impact, making use of modern technologies that allow solutions for air traffic control unthinkable until a few years ago and the results go more and more "green oriented".


Among the environmental impacts related to the aviation, the noise generated by aircraft is one of the worst nuisance for people who live and work in the areas close the airports.

The noise is produced mainly during take-off and it differs significantly depending on the aircraft and engines type, weight, weather conditions and adopted procedures.

In accordance with the aeronautical regulation, every aircraft shall have a noise certificate issued jointly by the Manufacturers and the Aviation Authorities as a result of tests carried out for the airworthiness certificate release, in compliance with the related international standards issued by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization).

The environmental issue is detailed in the ICAO regulation, Annex 16 – Environmental Protection Volume 1 – Aircraft Noise, which classifies the aircraft in different sections, depending on the relative noise.

Aircraft designed starting 1 January 2006 are subject to the ICAO standard named Chapter 4, which introduced more stringent limits than the previous Chapter 3.

Alitalia is committed in the noise mitigation through the fleet renewal by introducing aircraft with the best available technologies.

A fleet with an average lifetime of just 7 years pushes Alitalia among less noisy carriers and about 70% of its aircraft meets the requirements of the ICAO Chapter 4.

Furthermore the implementation, even for older airplanes, of improving modifications introduced by Manufacturers, has allowed Alitalia to reduce its noise issuances by 20% with reference to 2010 baseline, against a lower activity of 10%

Below are the noise levels as per noise certificate issued by the Aviation Authorities, expressed in EPNdb (Effective Perceived Noise in decibels), the unit of measurement of the actual level of noise perceived in the three detection points during both landing and  take-off.

Aircraft Type Chapter ICAO Lateral  Approach Flyover
Embraer 170-200 3 92,1 95 83,3
Embraer 190-100 3 91,6 92,5 83,4
Airbus A319-111 4 91,0 93,2 81,5
Airbus A319-112 4 92,3 92,4 81,3
Airbus A320-214 4 93,5 95,5 84,7
Airbus A320-216 4 92,0 95,5 85,8
Airbus A321-112 3 - 4 95,6 - 96,7 95,7 - 96,1 86,2 - 86,8
Airbus A330-200 4 99,7 98,9 91,8
Boeing 777-200 ER 3 96,4 98,1 - 98,1 90,9



In the long term, Alitalia signed an agreement with Sunchem aimed to investigate the possibility of producing biofuel to use on its aircraft, through the oil derived from the plant of tobacco for energy application.

The plant of tobacco for energy applications, contrary to the tobacco for the cigarettes industry, maximizes the production of flowers and seeds to the detriment of the leaves production, and biomass for biogas production. It doesn’t contain nicotine and appears as an integrated energy plant in all respects.

The plant is extremely robust, able to grow in various climates and soils, as a matter of fact it can be cultivated on marginal lands which cannot be used for food production.

It is an annual plant, with the harvest in the same year of the sow, allowing farmers to plan every year the size of dedicated fields.

The value added of energy tobacco are:

  • High sustainability criteria
  • No food crop (but edible due to the cake – back to human life cycle)
  • flexible approach to different climatic conditions
  • high yield productivity, so it is possible to figured out profit margin long the value chain, from agriculture to industrial phase and market

The purpose of the research project is to secure, in the first year of production, at least 20,000 tons of biofuel per year which will result in a reduction of at least 63,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions (CO 2).




Since June 2013 Alitalia has joined the ISAFF Italian Sustainable Aviation Fuel Forum, established by ENAC and WEC Italy (World Energy Council) with the aim to collect, monitor, select and disseminate relevant information in the energy field of aviation and in complementary areas, monitoring technological and regulatory developments, in order to make economically sustainable the environmental efficiency of new fuels.

Initiatives for the territory


As an environment-conscious air carrier, a value that goes hand in hand with its increasingly strong corporate social responsibility, Alitalia is supporting the new projects initiated by the Italian Environment Ministry under the name “Vivi le Aree Naturali” (Experience Natural Areas!) and “Scopri la Biodiversità” (Discover Biodiversity!).
ministero ambiente
More than 57,000 species of animals, over a third of Europe’s fauna, and 9,000 plant species, roughly half of those on the entire continent, live between the Alpine Ridge and the Pelagian Islands, amidst lakes and rivers, forests, conifer woods, Mediterranean scrub and the waters of four seas that surround the Italian peninsula.

This extraordinary richness is what we call “biodiversity”, meaning not only the variety of living beings that inhabit a territory and their relationships to each other, but also the entirety of natural resources and, in a broad sense, the secret of evolution itself.

Caring for this increasingly pressured heritage is essential, not only out of respect for national and Community laws, but most of all because human society depends heavily on biodiversity and on the services it yields in terms of resources and quality of life.

Italy’s 871 protected areas, including national and regional parks, nature reserves and protected marine areas offi cially recognised by the Ministry for the Environment, are a key tool for the strategy of conserving biodiversity and preventing its loss, as well as promoting a more aware tourism, non-seasonal and diversifi ed, combining man’s impact with safeguarding natural heritage.

The list of marvels extends from the Belluno Dolomites to the Cilento and the Cinque Terre, a World Heritage Site, from Gran Paradiso to the Sibilline Mounains and Gran Sasso, from the Abruzzo Park to the Tremiti and Gargano, to the islands of Ventotene, Ustica and Tavolara, from the Tuscan Archipelago to Cape Rizzuto, from Circeo to Asinara and Vesuvius.

These are unique treasures of incomparable beauty, of a richness to be preserved responsibly and with foresight.

Alitalia has named its Embraer aircraft after Italy’s national parks as a tangible sign of its focus on the environment and the national territory. The last-generation Embraer aircraft are the latest newcomers into Alitalia’s Fleet - whose 7 years of average lifetime place it among the youngest in Europe and, what is more, contribute to reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.

Experience and enjoy Italy’s natural protected areas! For further information hit here.