Russia’s S7 Airlines has successfully carried out the country’s first flight on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The A320neo – which flew from the Airbus plant in Toulouse, France to Moscow – was fueled entirely by a mixture of SAF, consisting of organic compounds and classic aviation fuel. The fuel used for the flight had 10% of biofuel in it, but “even this amount reduced CO2 emissions on this flight by 7%,” or 1.7 tons, the airline said in a statement.
According to S7, the total use of SAF in the world currently stands at 0.03%. The airline carrier recently announced plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Meanwhile, last week, several Russian airlines, including Aeroflot, announced the creation of the Eurasian SAF Alliance, which aims to start operating SAF-fueled flights in Russia on a regular basis no later than 2024.
“This is an opportunity for us to demonstrate that such flights are real and that they are the future of sustainable air transportation,” said S7 CEO Tatiana Fileva, adding that it is now up to the fuel sector to organize sufficient SAF production in the medium term.
The head of Airbus in Russia, Julien Franyatt, noted that Airbus planes are currently certified to fly on 50% of the SAF mixture, but the company plans to increase this figure to 100% by the end of the decade. Airbus has already delivered more than 75 planes using SAF, and a number of airlines around the world are already using the fuel for commercial flights. Most recently, US-based United Airlines operated the first-ever passenger flight using 100% SAF on one of its plane’s two engines on December 3.
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