Austrian Airlines has partnered with international oil and gas firm OMV to power its aircraft using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The Vienna Airport-based airline plans to acquire 1,500 metric tons of SAF in the coming year.
If you have ever flown into Vienna and then driven into the city, you will have passed the OMV refinery in the nearby town of Schwechat. Austrian Airlines says that its SAF will be produced from used cooking oil. Partnering with OMV keeps the process as regional as possible and keeps transport between the refinery and the airport to a minimum.
A pipeline connects Vienna Airport and the OMV refinery
In its statement, Austrian Airlines says that SAF makes for a CO2 reduction of more than 80% over the entire lifecycle compared to standard aviation fuel. A big plus point in using SAF is that the existing fuel infrastructure can be used for both storage and aircraft refueling. Also, because the OMV refinery is so close to Vienna airport, a direct pipeline will be used to deliver the fuel as early as March 2022.
When looking at the CO2 emissions, a typical short-haul flight between the Austrian capital and London Heathrow using an Airbus A320 would use around 1,500 metric tons of SAF, a savings of approximately 3,750 metric tons of CO2.
Austrian Airlines says that environmentally conscious customers will pay for the additional costs involved in using SAF instead of regular aviation fuel. All Austrian Airlines passengers can use the ‘Compensaid’ platform to support these flights and thus contribute to more sustainable air traffic.
All about emissions
When speaking about the partnership in the Austrian Airlines statement, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV, Alfred Stern said:
“Sustainable Aviation Fuels are a key technology for a lower-carbon aviation industry. They represent a readily available, easily applicable way of reducing emissions and are equivalent to conventional fuels in terms of quality and performance. We are very serious about our role in the energy transition and will continue to work on reducing the CO2 intensity of our portfolio in the future.”
In reply to Mr Stern’s comments Alexis von Hoensbroech, CEO of Austrian Airlines, said:
“Air travel needs to become more climate-friendly, and sustainable fuels play the key role. We are proud to become the first Austrian airline to use these fuels in our flight operations – not only for climate protection but also to strengthen Austria as a business location. I am pleased that we have taken the first step together with our partner OMV. Now, the task is to work with policymakers towards a location-based initiative to meet the EU blending mandates from 2025 onwards and hopefully even surpass them.”
The Lufthansa Group is working hard to cut CO2 emissions
The airline industry is working hard on cutting aircraft fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The Lufthansa Group, which owns Austrian Airlines, has pledged to cut its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 and make all its business CO2 neutral by 2050.
OMV also sees the production of SAF as an essential addition to its jet fuel range alongside conventional kerosene. The firm says it is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and is ready to support customers by offering more sustainable fuel products.
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