As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the aviation industry, here’s some news that gives hope for the future, particularly for the progress made by airlines to reduce their environmental impact.
Today, Air France, Total, Groupe ADP and Airbus carry out a flight between Paris and Montreal with an Air Airbus A350-900, powered by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
In concrete terms, 16% of the fuel was composed of SAF, which avoided the emission of 20 tons of CO2.
Along with this flight, there were two other notable firsts:
- First flight with a biofuel produced entirely in France in Total’s refineries.
- First flight with this type of fuel from Paris Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle
Air France is a pioneer in this field: it was the first airline to include a Director of Sustainable Development and New Mobilities in its team. Vincent Etchebehere was previously Air France Canada General Manager.
The choice of Montreal for this premiere is a logical next step:
- Air France has just celebrated more than 70 years in the country
- Montreal is home to theInternational Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO), which operates under theCarbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)
Canada was chosen as the launch destination for the A350-900 between Paris (CDG) and Toronto (YYZ). A flight I had the opportunity to review in Business Class.
Air France is committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 50% per passenger/km by 2030 compared to 2005. It must be said that French legislation now provides for the incorporation of 1% of biofuel on all flights departing from France from 2022.
For many years, the Air France-KLM Group has been committed to reducing its environmental footprint. Together with the renewal of our fleet, sustainable aviation fuels constitute our main lever in the medium-term for reducing our CO 2 emissions per passenger/km by half by 2030. These two actions are therefore central to our strategy, alongside eco-piloting and achieving carbon- neutral ground operations. France currently has the opportunity to position itself as a leader in the production and use of sustainable fuels and we are doing everything possible to contribute to this with our partners. Supporting the emergence of an economically viable French aviation biofuel sector for all the parties involved is a strategic priority for the country and the group.Benjamin Smith, Directeur Général d'Air France-KLM
At the same time, Airbus is conducting several series of tests to certify airliners to fly with 100% SAF in the coming decades.
“Sustainable fuels are a major lever for achieving our objectives of decarbonizing the aviation sector, and Airbus supports all initiatives that contribute to their development and use on commercial flights. Coordinated action by all stakeholders is needed to increase the share of these sustainable fuels, which can be used today on up to 50% of our aircrafts, without any modification or operational impact, thereby reducing their environmental footprint.Guillaume Faury, CEO d'Airbus