Air BP and Neste supply SAF for Swedish regional aviation 'perfect flight' and business aviation initiative
Tue 21 May 2019 – Following their agreement last month to deliver sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to airline and airport customers in Sweden, Air BP and Neste have taken part in a ‘perfect flight’ initiative with Braathens Regional Airlines (BRA) and regional aircraft manufacturer ATR. Produced by Neste and supplied by Air BP, SAF was used to power an ATR 72-600 aircraft on a commercial one-hour flight between Halmstad City and Stockholm Bromma. The two fuel companies have also announced they are to offer SAF to general and business aviation customers, as well as aircraft manufacturers, at Stockholm Arlanda and Caen Carpiquet airport in France. Sweden has ambitions for all air travel to be fossil-free by 2045 and a recent report recommended the government impose a 1% SAF blending mandate from 2021, rising to 5% in 2025 and 30% in 2030.
The partners involved with the Halmstad to Stockholm Bromma flight said it was the first regional ‘perfect flight’ to have taken place and involved optimising every element in the flight management process. The full flight of 72 passengers, including international media, was followed by a responsible aviation seminar involving representatives from industry and local government.
“We want to continue to fly ‘perfectly’ in the future. To achieve this, it is important that we can access sustainable aviation fuel in sufficient quantities and at the right price. For that, we need political initiatives,” said Anna Soltorp, Head of Sustainability at BRA, at the event. “We intend to continue the development of sustainable flying to make every flight as close to perfect as we possibly can. As a society, we need to take action to combat climate change and drastically reduce emissions, and aviation must play its part in this. Today, we have demonstrated what can be achieved through more efficient flying without compromising connectivity. It is another positive step forward.”
Last month, the airline was reported to have laid off 360 employees – a third of the workforce – due to lower passenger demand, which it blamed partly on publicity around climate change. It said it would switch to using smaller aircraft types.
According to Tom Anderson, ATR SVP Programs and Customer Services, the ATR 72-600 uses 40% less fuel and so 40% fewer CO2 emissions than a regional jet.
Neste said the SAF supplied for the flight produced up to 80% fewer emissions over its life-cycle compared with conventional jet fuel and was produced from non-palm renewable and sustainable raw materials.
The same fuel will be supplied to Stockholm Arlanda and Caen airports, and Air BP says the initiative is aimed at supporting the business aviation sector’s Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel programme.
“Our industry’s ambitious carbon reduction targets will only be achieved with support from across the entire supply chain,” commented Irene Lores, Global Sales and Marketing Director for general aviation at Air BP. “Initiatives like this give operators direct exposure to sustainable aviation fuel. At Air BP, we believe it is important to keep working with multiple suppliers, customers and partners, and using expertise from across the global BP organisation, to support SAF commercialisation.”
The fuel supplier says it has now supplied its BP biojet branded SAF to commercial airline customers at over 10 airport locations since 2014, including Oslo Airport, where it was the first to supply SAF through the existing airport fuelling infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Neste’s MY Renewable Jet Fuel has been presented with an award in respect of reducing black carbon emissions. The Finnish competition was part of a campaign aimed at speeding up emissions reduction, finding new solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing understanding of how black carbon accelerates climate change.
The company said while more detailed research on the impact of renewable aviation fuel on particulate emissions was ongoing, its fuel had good potential to bring about a significant reduction in the amount of black carbon emissions from aviation. NASA research had indicated the reduction could be as high as 70%, it said.