British Airways operated its first passenger service powered directly by sustainable aviation fuel, a London-Glasgow flight which the airline said produced 62% less CO2 emissions than a similar trip in a decade ago.
The airline said the combination of the fuel - partly made from recycled cooking oil - with trajeOptimal flight charts, electrified airport vehicles and its latest aircraft reduced emissions. BA claimed to have offset the CO2 produced, making the flight carbon neutral.
While around 6.4 tonnes of CO2 were still produced by flight BA1476 on Tuesday, the airline said the flight was intended to demonstrate the progress the aviation industry has made in its attempts to decarbonize ahead of the Cop26 summit. .
Service was provided by BA 's special color' durability 'aircraft, an Airbus A320neo, its quietest and most fuel efficient. The fuel was a 35% blend of BP Sustainable Fuels (SAF) - close to the maximum ratio currently allowed and above in simi demonstration flightslaires .
Other contributions to the optimization of efficiency came from the Nats air traffic control service, which ensured a direct ascent and descent with no waiting times, while Heathrow used vehicles powered by green electricity to push the plane to the ground.
While most of the factors involved in creating the " perfect flight "BA aimed for on Tuesday are not always available - and considerable skepticism remains about sustainable air travel and compensation - BA has said this was a glimpse into the future.
The BA Chief Executive Officer, Sean Doyle, said: "This flight offered a practical demonstration of the progress we are making on our journey to reduce carbon emissions. By working with our industry partners, we have achieved a 62% improvement in emissions reductions per ra contribution ten years ago.
"This marks real progress in our decarbonization efforts. and shows our determination to continue to innovate, to work with governments and industry, and to accelerate the adoption of new low carbon solutions. "
BA said the reduction in emissions compared to a similar London-Edinburgh flight in 2010 was achieved primarily by more efficient aircraft and operations - a reduction by 34%. Sustainable fuel, whose "life cycle carbon emissions" could be up to 80% lower, contributed to a 28% reduction. The remaining 38%, like all domestic BA flights, was offset using "verified, high-quality carbon offsets" - although there is major controversy over the value of compensation .
Heathrow Managing Director John Holland-Kaye said the flight showed the solutions to deliver a flight net zero exist, we just need to extend them ".
However, Cait Hewitt, director of policy at the Aviation Environment Federation, said:" It is important to understand with SAF that these are net emissions. You still get as much CO2 coming out of the rear of the plane as with conventional fuels.
"SAFs available today will not be a scalable solution for the industry. To suggest that this is a long-term path to decarbonize aviation would be misleading. "