British Airways, the renowned UK-based airline, has reportedly announced that it has flown its first passenger flight directly fueled by a sustainable aviation fuel on the London-Glasgow route, which, according to the company, generated 62% less CO2 emissions than a similar voyage a decade earlier.
The company claimed that the combination of the fuel, which is partially created from recycled cooking oil, with ideal flight routes, electric airport vehicles, and the airline's newest jet, reduced emissions. BA stated that it had effectively offset the CO2 emissions, making the flight carbon neutral.
While flight BA1476 still produced around 6.4 tons of CO2 during the flight, the airline stated that the trip was meant to showcase the progress achieved by the aviation sector in its efforts to decarbonize ahead of the upcoming Cop26 conference.
BA's unique liveried "sustainable" jet, an Airbus A320neo, the company's most fuel-efficient and quietest short-haul model, flew the service. The fuel was a 35% blend of BP's sustainable fuels (SAFs); near to the maximum ratio currently allowed and higher than in previous demonstration flights.
The air traffic control service, Nats, made additional contributions to maximize efficiency by ensuring a direct climb and descent with no holding time, while Heathrow employed trucks powered by electricity sourced from green energy harvesting systems to push the plane onto the ground.
While most of the elements needed in generating the trip that BA created are not always present or available, and there is still significant skepticism about sustainable air travel and offsetting, BA claimed it was a peek into the future.
Sean Doyle, the CEO of British Airways, stated that this flight provided a real illustration of the progress BA is making in its carbon reduction journey. By collaborating with its industrial partners, BA has achieved a 62% improvement in carbon reduction compared to a decade earlier.
This represents significant progress in airline's efforts to decarbonize and demonstrates its commitment to continue innovating, collaborating with governments and industry, and driving the adoption of new low-carbon solutions. Doyle added.