Airbus starts carbon-neutral delivery flights of new aircraft to Delta from its US assembly line
The Delta Airbus A321 undergoing testing in Mobile ahead of biofuel delivery flight (photo: Delta)
Thu 18 July 2019 – The delivery flight of a new Airbus 321 aircraft from the aircraft manufacturer’s final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama to a Delta Air Lines’ facility in Kansas City last week was powered by a biofuel blend. The residual CO2 emissions from the flight are being offset to ensure the flight was carbon-neutral. Delta is partnering with Air BP to supply the biofuel, which is being produced by Neste in Sweden, for an initial 20 carbon-neutral delivery flights from Mobile, with the offsets purchased through the BP Target Neutral programme. Last September, JetBlue became the first Airbus customer to have a delivery flight powered by renewable jet fuel supplied and certified by Air BP. Locally-produced sustainable aviation fuel is not yet available in the southeast of the United States to supply delivery flights, a situation Airbus is looking to help change.
“The carbon-neutral delivery flight is a milestone on Delta’s sustainability journey as we work to cut carbon emissions in half by 2050,” said Alison Lathrop, the airline’s Managing Director – Global Environment, Sustainability and Compliance. “We will explore opportunities to bring this level of sustainability to all delivery flights going forward.”
The deliveries are part of a fleet modernisation programme that will replace 20% of Delta’s mainline narrowbody fleet over the next five years. Since 2005, Delta says it has reduced its jet fuel consumption that in turn has led to a 11% reduction in emissions. It was the first, and still remains the only ahead of the ICAO CORSIA scheme, US airline to voluntarily cap its CO2 emissions at 2012 levels by purchasing carbon offsets.
“We are proud to help Delta achieve its sustainability goals for the maiden voyages of their new Airbus aircraft,” said Air BP CEO Jon Platt. “This is another example of BP’s commitment to advancing the energy transition and helping our customers meet their lower carbon goals. We hope this project inspires others to follow suit.”
Added Simone Rauer, Head of Aircraft Operations for Environmental Affairs at Airbus: “We are committed to being part of the solution for meeting aviation’s global CO2 emissions reduction targets. Contributing to a lasting decrease of our industry’s carbon footprint is key to ensuring a sustainable future for aviation.”