- According to IATA, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) allows to reduce the C02 emissions up to 80% throughout their entire life cycle
- They are produced from waste (biofuels) and from the capture of C02 (e-fuels), thus promoting a circular economy and technological development
- Iberia and Repsol have been working on the production of these fuels, a sustainable alternative to kerosene that is ready to use now, with the current aircraft and infrastructure
- Iberia’s corporate clients will be able to purchase SAF to decarbonise their flights based on a calculation that takes into account the distance flown, the aircraft used for the route, the cabin in which they are travelling, and the weather conditions
- In addition, they will be able to continue offsetting their emissions through two certified projects offered by Iberia in Peru and Guatemala through the CHOOOSE platform
- A commitment to SAF in Spain would contribute to the development of a new industry that generates wealth and employment and would provide greater energy security
Madrid, Spain, 2023-Mar-14 — /Travel PR News/ — Iberia and Repsol continue advancing in their alliance to promote the green transition of the aviation sector. Both companies have come together to offer the airline’s corporate clients sustainable aviation fuel, which allows them to reduce emissions and decarbonise their business trips.
As part of the International Air Group (IAG), Iberia is committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and, to achieve this, it has designed a sustainability strategy based on four pillars with a direct impact on the decarbonisation of its flights.
The most relevant is the renewal of the fleet: Iberia incorporated 13 new aircraft in 2022 and is making significant investments in the Airbus A350 and Airbus A320neo, which are between 20 and 35% more efficient than the models they replace. This, together with different operational initiatives, will allow Iberia to improve efficiency per passenger by 10% (grCO2/pax-km) in 2025. In 2022, Iberia was recognised by IBA as the second airline in the World to most Reduce its CO2 emissions between 2019 and 2022; specifically, 17% per seat-kilometre on its long-haul flights, for which there is currently no efficient alternative to air transport.
SAF, the future (and present) of the aviation sector
In addition to its fleet renewal and operational efficiency improvements, Iberia has partnered with Repsol to encourage the production of sustainable aviation fuel with which, according to IATA, CO2 emissions are reduced by up to 80% throughout their life cycle. In addition, as they come from waste (from the forestry, agricultural, livestock and food industries) and from CO2 capture, their production promotes the circular economy and the development of new technologies.
Current aircraft are certified to operate with up to 50% of SAF, which is considered a “drop-in” technology, since it does not require any transformation in the aircraft design or the airport infrastructure.
Boost to SAF production
The European Union Fit For 55 regulations establishes a minimum mandate for the use of SAF on flights of 2% in 2025, 5% in 2030, and a gradual increase to 63% in 2050.
IAG, the group of which Iberia is part, has anticipated this mandate by committing to power 10% of its flights with SAF by 2030, and to invest $865m in this type of fuel purchases and investments to boost its production, given that, for the moment, it is limited and costly.
Among the initiatives to promote the production of SAF, in October 2021, Iberia and Repsol operated to Bilbao the first flight with a mixture of biofuel generated from waste at the Petronor plant.
In June 2022, they partnered again in the operation of the first transatlantic flights from Spain with SAF sourced from waste.
In addition, within the agreement between both companies, they will now offer Iberia’s corporate clients the possibility of acquiring SAF, allowing them to decarbonise their business trips, with the aim of also increasing demand and production and reducing the price of these fuels.
Decarbonising corporate travel
Iberia already offers its corporate customers a platform that allows them to calculate the emissions generated by their flights based on the type of flight, the aircraft that operates the route, the cabin in which they travel, and the weather conditions.
With this calculator, corporate customers could, until now, offset their emissions through two certified projects in Peru and Guatemala that Iberia managed through the CHOOOSE start-up.
Based on the same calculator, now companies will also be able to purchase SAF -supplied by Repsol- to decarbonise their flights or combine the use of SAF with the offset programme, choosing the proportion of their emissions that they want to reduce.
SAF in Spain
At the end of this year, at its Cartagena refinery, Repsol will start operating the first plant in Spain that is capable of producing 250,000 tonnes of advanced biofuels per year, produced using waste materials, and allowing for the reduction of 900,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The multi-energy company, which hopes to become a net zero emission company by 2050, has invested €200m in this project.
According to Eurocontrol, currently, the maximum production potential of SAF in the European Union is estimated to be around 0.24 million tonnes, only 10% of what is required by 2030.
The commitment to sustainable fuels in Spain – considering the importance of the aviation industry for the tourism sector and its contribution to the GDP and to employment – would contribute to the development of a new industry that generates wealth, employment, and social and territorial cohesion, while progressing in the greener transition of the aviation business, providing greater energy security.
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