1 Billion Passengers Predicted to Use Biofuel-Powered Flights

1 Billion Passengers Predicted to Use Biofuel-Powered Flights1 Billion Passengers Predicted to Use Biofuel-Powered Flights

The International Air Transport Association is targeting one billion passengers to fly on flights powered by a mix of jet fuel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2025.

In a statement on Tuesday, IATA said this aspiration was identified on the 10th anniversary of the first flight to blend sustainable aviation fuel and ordinary jet fuel.

On Feb. 24, 2008, a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 flew from London to Amsterdam using SAF in one of its engines. The flight demonstrated the viability of drop-in biofuels, which can be blended with traditional jet fuel, using airport infrastructure, New Straits Times reported.

“A flight completely powered by sustainable fuel has the potential to reduce the carbon emissions of that flight by up to 80%,” it said.

Director General and Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac said the target would not be easy and the association needs governments to set a framework to incentivize the production of SAF and ensure it is as attractive to produce as automotive biofuels.

“The momentum for sustainable aviation fuels is now unstoppable. From one flight in 2008, we passed the threshold of 100,000 flights in 2017. We expect to hit one million flights during 2020. But that is still just a drop in the ocean compared to what we want to achieve,” he added.

The push to increase the use of SAF is being driven by the airline industry’s commitment to achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and to cut net carbon emissions by 50% compared to 2005.

Acknowledging that some sources of biofuels for land transport have been criticized for their environmental credentials, de Juniac emphasized the determination of the industry to only use truly sustainable sources for its alternative fuels.

“The airline industry is clear, united and adamant that we will never use a sustainable fuel that upsets the ecological balance of the planet or depletes its natural resources,” he said.


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