October 24th will go down in Azores Airlines' history as the beginning of a new era, the date of its first-ever flight using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
This milestone is even more significant considering that a few days ago, the SATA Group joined the European Union's Zero Emissions Aviation Alliance, an initiative aimed precisely at decarbonizing the sector by 2050.
Azores Airlines' first commercial flight fueled with SAF connected Lisbon and Ponta Delgada, in an Airbus A320 named UNIQUE with registration CS-TKK. The aircraft took off from Lisbon airport at 19H25M local time and landed at Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island, at 21H30M local time.
The fuel used on this route incorporated 39% renewable origin material known as HEFA (Hydro processed Esters and Fatty Acids), representing a 35% reduction in total CO2 emissions.
The preparation and monitoring of this first commercial flight using sustainable aviation fuel involved the energy partners Galp and NESTE, two leading innovators in biofuels and recyclable fuels, and Carlyle Aviation Partners, a commercial aviation investment platform and lessor of the CS-TKK UNIQUE aircraft operated by Azores Airlines. Together with Azores Airlines’ technical teams, the partners ensured the feasibility of this operation.
SAF offers similar performance to traditional jet fuel and can be used in the same engines as fossil fuel but with a significantly lower carbon footprint.
NESTE's SAF is produced from 100% sustainably sourced renewable waste and residue raw materials, such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste. Positioning itself as a strategic SAF supplier, Galp plans to produce 240.000 tons/year of SAF as part of the transformation of its Sines industrial site into a Green Energy Park.
Azores Airlines is happy to contribute to the decarbonization goals that the aviation sector seeks to achieve and is very proud to undertake actions that will guarantee that the Azores Archipelago remains to be a remarkable sustainable tourism destination.