The race for sustainability is on the horizon for airlines. Vueling was on Tuesday, and it managed to reduce 72% the emissions from the Barcelona-Lyon flight. This was thanks to the sustainable fuel (SAF), and an optimized flight plan which reduced the distance by 16%.
Franc Sanmarti is Vueling's Director of Sustainability. He explains that 72% of the reduction in CO2 emissions can be attributed to three factors. There was 42% less pollution due to SAF. However, 18% of that is due to the new Airbus A320neo aircraft's efficiency and 11% due the shorter flight path.
Sanmarti said, "It's almost like traveling in 2035." He asked for more government support to allow him to continue these "sustainable" flights. The SAF is three to five times more costly than traditional fuel. The Vueling manager explained that the SAF's price will drop the more it is produced.
The flight was part of the European event on mobility "Connecting Europe Days" which takes place in Lyon this Tuesday. It used half of the SAF fuel which prevented the release of 8.5 tons CO2 into the atmosphere. Repsol produced the biofuel from biomass at its Tarragona industrial complex. Vueling filled the plane with Total fuel made from used oils on the return journey from Lyon to Barcelona.
They explain that these fuels can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 80% when compared to traditional fuels. It is also one of the main options to decarbonize aviation.
Vueling is a member of the IAG group. This commitment goes well beyond the European Commission's goals of 2% for aviation.