Qantas Airlines has signed up for Permagard’s bio-coating technology, making Australia the first country in the world to have all of its commercial airliners protected by the French company’s product. The core benefit, it claims, is the ability to preserve the aircraft’s exterior for a longer period, and defer repainting. It also translates into less frequent washing–- the scarcity of water in Australia being a factor in the decision.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which has already coated its aircraft with Permagard (Stand E147), saved “millions of liters of water [in 2010] by reducing by 325 the number of exteriors washed,” said the company.
Permagard repels a wide range of contaminants ranging from runway grime to bugs and hydraulic fluid stains, while having the added benefit of reduced drag. The company quotes an Airbus publication, which asserts that a smooth skin can save, “at today’s fuel prices, $300,000 of fuel per aircraft per year.”