While aviation OEMs are all trying to put their brains together to meet an intention to make aviation more sustainable by 2050, not much is happening right now, apart from sporadic interventions. Some airlines in India have tried in the past to operate special flights or just headline their flights with the fact that they operated their flights with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), but the problem is, there is not enough of this fuel, which could be made from your kitchen waste, to go around. Also, it is expensive.
But today, IndiGo did make a start. Airbus delivered a new aircraft to IndiGo, which flew in between Toulouse (TLS) and Delhi Airport (DEL) and was powered by some amount of SAF. What this means is, that a part of the fuel was SAF, and the rest was regular jet fuel.
IndiGo stated that this was the first international flight operated by any Indian carrier using SAF. The Airbus A320neo aircraft departed at 21:50 hrs UTC on Feb 17, 2022, from Toulouse, France, and arrived at 11:00 hrs IST on February 18, 2022, at the Delhi Airport.
PTI, which was at the event, reports that IndiGo plans to go carbon neutral by 2050, and is talking to various institutions to produce SAF. Recently, IndiGo published its first ESG Report IndiGoGreen, to share the company’s outlook towards good governance and an overview of the environmental and social performance. The airline has been in the process of institutionalising a sustainable approach to operations over the last few years, where-in sustainability is being integrated with day-to-day operations.
Rémi Maillard, President & Managing Director at Airbus India & South Asia, said,
At Airbus, sustainability is at the heart of our purpose. Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is an important pillar of our sustainability strategy as it contributes to reductions in CO2 emissions. As India’s aircraft partner of choice, we work together with our customers to make air travel sustainable for future generations. Today’s flight in partnership with IndiGo is an important step towards this goal in India.
He noted that all Airbus commercial aircraft are already certified to fly with 50% SAF and by the end of the decade, by 2030, it will grow to 100%.
IndiGo has been taking various sustainability measures, including the conversion of coaches into electric ones. It is also looking at taxiing aircraft with electric vehicles.
IndiGo’s delivery flight which had SAF puts the spotlight back on sustainability in aviation. A small step was taken today, but a lot more needs to be done to make it more sustainable over time. Essentially, till the hydrogen-powered jets that Airbus is working on, SAF is the way forward.
What do you think of IndiGo’s sustainability initiatives?
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