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British Airways operates first carbon neutral flight

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TD Guest Writer

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For the first time, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) was used on a British Airways passenger flight.

According to the airline, the flight from London Heathrow to Glasgow on Tuesday also involved air traffic service provider NATS, fuel giant BP, and Airbus.

The short flight on the airline’s new special liveried sustainability aircraft replicated a British Airways flight to Edinburgh in 2010.

No offsetting or sustainable aviation fuel was available to reduce the flight’s environmental impact at the time, and the flight was operated on an older aircraft with fewer passengers.

That’s why this week’s flight aimed to demonstrate how far the aviation industry has come in its efforts to decarbonise in the last decade.

As part of British Airways’ short-haul fleet, the flight was operated by an Airbus A320neo, British Airways’ quietest and most fuel-efficient short-haul plane. Aerodynamic, cabin, and flight operations improvements have allowed A320neos to consume 20% less fuel, which means 20% less CO2, and to be 50% quieter than their predecessor, which operated this flight in 2010.

While British Airways hasn’t made any major changes since then, they’ve made a number of changes to reduce the weight of their aircraft. They’ve installed lighter seats on the new aircraft, lighter catering trolleys, and replaced heavy flight manuals with digital downloads.

To comply with technical specifications, sustainable aviation fuel from bp was used in a 35 percent blend with traditional jet fuel to power the flight.

Electric Mototok vehicles, powered by Heathrow Airport’s 100% renewable electricity, were used to push the aircraft back. For taxi, only one of the aircraft’s four engines was used. This reduced the aircraft’s initial thrust almost in half.

The airline’s chief executive Sean Doyle said: “This flight offered a practical demonstration of the progress we’re making in our carbon reduction journey.

“By working together with our industry partners we’ve delivered a 62% improvement in emissions reductions compared to a decade ago.

“This marks real progress in our efforts to decarbonise and shows our determination to continue innovating, working with governments and industry and accelerating the adoption of new low carbon solutions to get us closer still to the perfect flight of the future.”

Last week British Airways launched a sustainability programme named BA Better World, which included a series of initiatives to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Source: Daily Business

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