On 16 May, a number of companies from across the aviation sector have risen to the challenge of turning a typical weekday service from Halmstad City airport (HAD/ESMT) to Stockholm Bromma airport (BMA/ESSB) into the ‘Perfect Flight’.
This is the first time that every element in the flight management process on a regional flight has been optimised to keep carbon emissions to a minimum and achieve the ‘Perfect Flight’ – in Sweden, a country that is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2045. A full flight of seventy two passengers, including international media, were on board the Braathens Regional Airlines ATR 72-600 turboprop, the regional aircraft with the best environmental credentials, which took one hour to reach its destination.
According to ATR, the ATR 72-600 has an environmental advantage, in that it produces 40 percent fewer carbon emissions per trip compared with regional jets, saving 4,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per aircraft per year. ATRs can also take off and land where other aircraft cannot ensuring accessibility to all airfields, including those that are the most challenging. This helps connect more communities and provides more opportunities for people, wherever they live.
With the electrification of commercial aircraft thought to be decades away, advances in aircraft efficiency and the use of sustainable aviation fuel are likely to play a significant role in supporting the aviation industry to meet its ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050.
The Perfect Flight was powered by sustainable aviation fuel supplied by Air BP and produced by Neste. The fuel supplied will produce up to 80 percent fewer emissions over its life-cycle compared with conventional jet fuel and is produced from non-palm renewable and sustainable raw materials. In addition, Air BP’s operations at Halmstad City airport are one of their over 250 locations that have been certified as carbon neutral since 2016.
Following the flight, a responsible aviation seminar was held at Stockholm Bromma airport where the crew shared the results of how the ‘Perfect Flight’ had been achieved. A host of experts shared their views including Peter Larsson – CEO of Sweden’s Regional Airports, Jonas Bergman – Mayor of Halmstad, Tom Anderson – ATR Senior Vice President, Programs and Customer Services, Anna Soltorp – Head of Sustainability, BRA and Tom Parsons, Air BP Commercial Development Manager, Low Carbon, and Andreas Teir, Neste’s Vice President in Renewable Transportation, Nordics.
From his seat on the Perfect Flight, Parsons said: “At Air BP we are committed to working across the industry to meet our collective carbon reduction goals. Today has highlighted what is possible when we all work together and we are proud to have been the supplier of sustainable aviation fuel for this perfect flight. We will continue to look for ways to reduce emissions in our own operations and for our customers.”
Meanwhile, Soltorp commented: “We want to continue to fly ‘perfectly’ in the future. To achieve this, it is important that we can access sustainable aviation fuel in sufficient quantities and at the right price. For that we need political initiatives. We intend to continue the development of sustainable flying to make every flight as close to perfect as we possibly can. As a society we need to take action to combat climate change and drastically reduce emissions, aviation must play its part in this. Today, we have demonstrated what can be achieved through more efficient flying without compromising connectivity. It is another positive step forwards.”
Anderson added: “Today, using existing technology and available solutions, we have pushed the boundaries even further. This great achievement wouldn’t have been possible without using an ATR aircraft, as our ATR 72-600 version uses 40 percent less fuel and emits 40 percent less CO2 than a regional jet. We are delighted to have taken up this challenge and demonstrate what is possible, which will hopefully set an example for other communities around the world.”
Teir commented: “Aviation stakeholders in Sweden have adopted a proactive approach to show their commitment to reducing emissions from their operations by promoting the use of renewable jet fuel. Decarbonizing aviation calls for close cooperation between aviation stakeholders combined with a strong willingness to work collaboratively. We are proud of our partnership with Air BP in bringing sustainable jet fuel to Sweden, which sends a strong signal to the international aviation community also.“