Soars with “Sharkskin” Tech, Equips Entire Fleet for Eco-Friendly Flights

Airline Pioneers Fuel-Saving AeroSHARK Film, Slashing Kerosene Use and Emissions

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has achieved a world first in aviation sustainability, becoming the first airline to equip its entire fleet of Boeing 777-300ER long-haul aircraft with innovative AeroSHARK technology.

Inspired by the sleek, low-friction skin of sharks, AeroSHARK is a transparent film applied to the fuselage and engine nacelles of airplanes. Microscopic riblets on the film mimic the shark’s dermal denticles, which disrupt turbulent airflow and reduce drag during flight.

This translates to a significant reduction in fuel consumption, with estimates suggesting a one percent improvement.

The impact of the technology is clear. Even with a partial rollout throughout 2023, SWISS reported a decrease in kerosene consumption by over 2,200 tonnes. This reduction translates to a positive environmental impact, with CO2 emissions falling by an estimated 7,100 tonnes.

“We are thrilled with the initial results of AeroSHARK,” said Claus Bauer, Head of Technical Fleet Management at SWISS.”Being the first airline to outfit an entire fleet with this technology is a point of great pride for us.

While implementation requires high-precision work and takes about a week per aircraft, the environmental benefits are undeniable. This is a major step forward in making SWISS’s flight operations more sustainable.”

Looking ahead, SWISS is exploring the possibility of expanding the AeroSHARK program to include other long-haul aircraft within its fleet.

Developed collaboratively by Lufthansa Technik and BASF, AeroSHARK represents a promising advancement in the ongoing pursuit of greener air travel.