A Brussels Airlines flight from Brussels to Malaga on New Year’s Day has become the first to take off from Brussels Airport with a 38-62% SAF to conventional fuel mix.
Brussels Airport and Brussels Airlines have both started the new year with firsts in the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The airport is also now able to provide SAF refuelling, courtesy of NATO’s underground Central European Pipeline Service, connecting France, Germany and the Benelux nations, which supplies NATO’s air fleet as well as civil flights.
Let start this year with some great news: today the 1st flight with Sustainable Aviation Fuel took off at #brusselsairport! SAF is now easily available at the airport, an important milestone in making aviation more #sustainable. ✈️ Read all about it: https://t.co/yrwIECEdSE https://t.co/yGw1TrPIUU— Brussels Airport (@BrusselsAirport) January 1, 2023
SAF is created from waste streams and cooking fats. With lower greenhouse emissions than regular kerosene, the fuel is claimed to have the potential to reduce aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%. It is already in use by about forty airlines worldwide.
Air France currently uses a 1% SAF mix in all its flights leaving from France. British Airways recently accelerated its Project Speedbird to produce 102 million litres of SAF per year. Environmental campaigners argue SAF production, which is dogged by high costs and regulatory issues, is not aviation’s magic bullet. A Boeing 747 uses about four litres of fuel per second.
Brussels Airlines have bought 2 million litres of the biokeresene, supplied by Finnish oil company Neste. It is loaded into the pipeline as a mix made at Neste’s blending site in Ghent, and transported to the airport ready-for-use by the Brussels Airlines’ craft.
The airline has been working and investing with parent-company Lufthansa in the production of biokeresene. Peter Gerber, CEO of Brussels Airlines, said: “The fact that sustainable aviation fuel can now be transported from the blending facility all the way to our aircraft in a fast and environmentally friendly way is an important step to increase the use of this type of fuel in the near future.”
Brussels Airport, which recently halted plans for its own SAF blending facility, is aiming for SAF to make up five per cent of total imports by 2026.
That our home-carrier Brussels Airlines, is already taking the lead with an initial order from SAF is a great start.Arnaud Feist, Brussels Airport CEO
“To achieve our climate goals, we will have to drastically increase the use of alternatives to fossil fuels in the coming years,” he added. “Besides fleet renewal, sustainable jet fuel is the most effective tool currently available to reduce air travel emissions.”