As part of their commitment to meet the challenges of decarbonisation of the aviation industry, Swedish airline Braathens Regional Airlines (BRA), turboprop manufacturer ATR and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) producer Neste will partner to achieve the collective aim of accelerating the certification of 100% SAF of ATR aircraft to fly with 100% Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel – a key pillar of the industry’s decarbonisation strategy, which has an immediate impact in reducing CO2 emissions.
The companies aim to show a demonstration flight in 2022, with one of Braathens Regional Airlines’ ATR aircraft flying with 100% SAF in one engine and 50% SAF in the other, for an anticipated emissions reduction of 64%. It is expected that an ATR flying with 100% sustainable aviation fuel in both engines would reduce CO2 emissions by 82%, if it were flying one of Braathens Regional Airlines’ typical routes.
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This collaboration follows the successful Perfect Flight venture in 2019 in which every aspect of a BRA ATR flight was optimised, including the use of a 50% SAF blend. This led to a saving of 46% of CO2 emissions, compared to a standard flight.
ATR, as the most sustainable on the market, burning up to 40% less fuel and emitting up to 40% less CO2 than a similarly sized regional jet, is the ideal aircraft on which to deploy 100% SAF. Today, with no SAF on board, if ATR aircraft replaced every regional jet departing from Sweden, nearly 32,000 tonnes of CO2 could be saved, for a reduction in CO2 emissions of 42%.These eco-credentials were validated when the aircraft became the first-ever to become eligible for Green Financing in 2019, when Braathens Regional Airlines modernised their fleet with ATR aircraft replacing ageing, regional jets.
Per G. Braathen, Chairman of Braathens Regional Airlines said: “It is absolutely vital that aviation goes even further to decarbonise. It is what we want, and what our passengers and the general public expect. However, we must be realistic and accept that it is today impossible to achieve this aim with one concrete action only.
This is a process with many steps and, in the short-term, the most efficient way to reduce CO2 emissions is to increase the use of SAF. Partnering with ATR to achieve 100% SAF certification will enable us to reach our goal of 100% SAF in our planes in 2030. This is in line with our strategy to become the world’s first net-zero airline 10 year ahead of any other airline.”
Jonathan Wood, Vice President Europe, Renewable Aviation at Neste said: “We are continuously supporting the aviation industry in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are pleased to be part of this 100% SAF project, which is an important step towards securing certification of flights that are 100% powered by Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel.»
Commenting on the agreement, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer, Stefano Bortoli, remarked: “Braathens Regional Airlines is the ideal partner with whom to embark on this project. This is an airline that is clearly committed to sustainable aviation and is dedicated to pushing the limits of what is achievable. Braathens Regional Airlines has a history of being consistently among the first to adopt solutions to minimise their emissions. As well as being part of the first-ever deal for a Green Financed aircraft, it was also the first airline to offer their passengers the option to choose a biofuel flight and is currently the only airline in the Swedish government’s Fossil Free Sweden initiative, actively striving for a domestic fossil free flight. We are proud to partner them on the next step of their journey and we are sure that with BRA as the pioneer, this will prove to be an important step for sustainable aviation.”