Airline S7 operates Russia’s first flight using biofuel
S7-samolet
Russian airline S7 became the first carrier in the country to operate a flight using aviation fuel containing biofuel, the company said.

The company’s Airbus 320neo, using aviation fuel with a 10 % component of biofuel,  took off from the Airbus manufacturing facility in Toulouse in southwestern France and completed the flight by landing at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport.

    The use of a biofuel mix, rather than classic aviation fuel, resulted in a reduction in emissions of 7 %, or 1.7 tonnes. And it enabled S7 to join a group of some 50 airlines world-wide operating on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

    “This is an opportunity for us to demonstrate that such flights are realistic, and the future of environmentally-friendly air services belongs to them,” the S7 press service quoted the group’s CEO and co-owner Tatyana Fileva as saying.

    “It is extremely important to develop a legal basis to certify SAF in Russia and use it on regular flights. For our part, we stand ready to be actively involved in this process. And we certainly hope that our partners in the fuel sector will be able to launch production in the mid-term.

    The strategic aim – as stated by S7 – is to achieve carbon-neutral status by 2050. On the way to achieving that aim, the company intends by the end of 2022 to reduce its unit aviation fuel costs by 4-5 %, particularly by using its Airbus A320/321neo aircraft, which make up 40 % of its fleet.

    Earlier in December, S7 signed a declaration on setting up a Eurasian SAF alliance, whose participants plan by the end of 2024 to operate flights on Russian-produced sustainable aviation fuel.

    In addition to S7, the alliance is made up of Gazprom Neft, Airbus, Russian airline Aeroflot, airline Volga-Dnepr as well as the Central Zhukovsky Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute and the State Scientific Research Institute of Civil Aviation.

    The growing need for this type of aviation fuel is linked to a great extent to plans by the European Union’s Executive Commission to oblige airlines from 2025 to use no less than 2 % SAF in their aviation fuel. This rule is to apply not only to flights within the EU but also on flights originating in EU with destinations in third countries. By 2030, the share of SAF is due to increase to 5 % and by 2035 to 20 %. . The alliance participants set the objective of carrying out the first flight using biofuel produced in Russia no later than 2024. The Eurasian SAF Alliance’s ultimate goal is to develop a roadmap for using biofuel in Russia “to achieve carbon neutrality within the next few decades,” the press release said.

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