Iberia and Repsol have completed the Madrid–Bilbao route with biofuel produced from waste at the Petronor Industrial Complex. The use of biofuels and the improved energy efficiency has resulted in a reduction in emissions of 1.4 tonnes of CO2.
This sustainable initiative arises from the collaboration agreement signed last July by Repsol – a pioneer in the manufacture of sustainable aviation fuels in Spain – and Iberia. The collaboration agreement aims at achieving a more sustainable mobility and is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promoted by the United Nations through the 2030 Agenda. One of the most important parts of the agreement is the development of low-carbon aviation fuels.
The production of biofuels is just one of the three pillars of Iberia’s sustainability strategy, which also includes more efficient operations, a more sustainable travel experience, and a commitment to R&D of sustainable fuels and other technologies.
The flight represents a huge step towards the decarbonization of the aviation sector and the first attempt to use sustainable fuel from waste in Spain. The flight IB426 was operated with an Iberia Airbus A320neo, with a capacity of 180 passengers and currently one of the world’s most efficient aircrafts. Iberia’s A320neo aircrafts not only reduce noise by 50%, but they also emit 5,000 tons of CO2 less per year and 50% less NOx.
The biojet used for the flight was produced last August at the Petronor Industrial Complex, a company based near Bilbao and belonging to the Repsol Group. Aena, the world’s leading airport operator by numbers of passengers, also played an important role in the success of this operation. Aena works with various agents to support global decarbonization of air transport, and works on projects to speed up the production of biofuels.
The flight on the Madrid-Bilbao route has reduced the emission of 1.4 tons of CO2, thanks to the improved fuel efficiency and the use of biofuel. Moreover, even ground operations (such as loading and unloading baggage, and towing to the runway) have been performed by using Iberia’s most efficient vehicles, including an electric vehicle controlled by a remote control. Iberia is currently working on new sustainable solutions to replace single-use plastics onboard.