Developing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is a big challenge and IndiGo is working with the Indian petroleum ministry and oil majors such as Shell and Honeywell UOP on this issue, said the airline’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta here.
Commercial aviation is responsible for about two to three per cent of the global carbon emissions. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has given up flying to reduce her personal carbon footprint, boosting the “flight shame” movement in Europe and other parts of the world. Dutta said: “SAF is a big challenge, in which we can only collaborate. So, we are working with Shell, we are working with UOP, and we are working with the Indian petroleum ministry to try and see how we can help with this issue.”
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He was speaking during a panel discussion at the 77th annual general meeting of International Air Transport Association, a global airlines body, here on Monday. IndiGo had announced on July 30 that it is exploring the potential of using SAF in aircraft and it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with an international SAF provider. However, the carrier did not reveal the name of the SAF provider.
IndiGo had said that it knows that the SAF is not in mass production currently and its commercial utilisation is still a few years away. However, knowing the importance of SAF, IndiGo is exploring the potential of using it and is in talks with its manufacturers globally, it said. The carrier said it aims to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emission by 18 per cent per available seat kilometer (ASK) in 2022-23 as compared to 2015-16.
ASK measures passenger carrying capacity of the airline and it is calculated by multiplying the total number of seats in flights to total number of kilometres flown by them. The airline measures CO2 efficiency using ASK intensity ratio, which is metric tonnes CO2/1,000 ASKs. One MT CO2 is equal to 316 kg of fuel. As per the IATA, SAF is defined as ”any fuel that has the potential to generate lower carbon emissions than conventional kerosene on a life cycle basis”.
IndiGo said it is currently taking up the following steps to reduce its aviation turbine fuel (ATF) consumption to decreased its carbon footprint fleet modernisation; implementing weight reduction measures on board; optimising flight routes; improving flight operations; and following fuel-efficient best practices. “At IndiGo, we also believe that the use of all the above practices combined together cannot match the impact which can be created by sustainable aviation fuels (SAF),” it said. The airline said it saved 4.67 lakh tonnes of aviation turbine fuel between 2014-15 to 2020-21.