El Al is 'worst' in Heathrow pollution league

Research shows Israeli airline’s planes are dirtiest and noisiest.


El Al has been named as the dirtiest and noisiest airline flying in and out of Heathrow.

The London airport, considered the third busiest in the world, has taken steps to improve its environmental impact by ranking airlines on their efforts to reduce emissions and noise.

The first publication of the Fly Quiet and Clean League Table, which will be updated every three months, has seen the Israeli national carrier come bottom out of the airport’s 50 busiest airlines.

It is the first time that the environmental impact of airlines has been publicly tracked in this way.

The table ranks each airline in seven categories with red, amber or green ratings. These include noise, nitrogen oxides emissions, whether they arrived late or early and how efficient their landing approaches were.

Unscheduled night flights operating between 11:30 pm and 4:30 am are also taken into account.

Almost half of the airlines (24) were found to have a red mark and therefore be failing in at least one category. However, El Al was marked as red in five out of seven areas.

The next worst airlines were Oman Air (46), Pakistan International Airlines (47), Middle East Airlines (48) and Kuwait Airways (49).

The data, based on flights between January and March, showed that BA short haul, Aer Lingus and Etihad Airways are the cleanest and quietest airlines.

It is hoped that the table will incentivise airlines to use their quieter aircraft types and operating procedures at the airport 

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability said: “While the main contributor to local pollution remains road traffic, Heathrow is playing its part to improve air quality by reducing emissions from its vehicles, buildings and aircraft.

“We are excited to add a whole new dimension to the league table and have another tool to help airlines to reduce their impact on air quality.  Together, we can play our part to improve our local environment and help the UK and London governments meet their air quality targets.”

Reacting to the news, Oranit Beithalahmy, El Al’s managing director For North Europe and Africa, said: “As from 2019 all the EL AL 747-400 aircrafts – which are considered to be the most noisy ones – will be leaving service.

“This week EL AL has launched the new Dreamliner aircrafts that will start to operate as from August and will replace the 747-400. Those aircrafts are recognised as being quitter and environmental friendly.”

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