Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 02-Sep-2021

This CAPA report features a summary of recent aviation sustainability and environment news, selected from the 300+ news alerts published daily by CAPA. For more information, please contact us.

Boeing to open new research centre, expand sustainability partnerships in Japan

Boeing announced (01-Aug-2022) the following initiatives to support sustainability efforts in Japan:

  • Boeing plans to open a new Boeing Research and Technology centre in Nagoya. The facility will focus on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), electric/hydrogen propulsion, robotics, digitisation and composites. The centre will also support Boeing‘s expanded cooperation agreement with Japan‘s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI);
  • Boeing and METI broadened their 2019 cooperation agreement to include a focus on SAF, electric and hydrogen powertrain technologies and future flight concepts;
  • Boeing joined the ACT FOR SKY organisation, which is working to commercialise, promote and expand the use of SAF produced in Japan;
  • Boeing signed agreements with All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines to jointly study sustainable technologies, including electric, hybrid, hydrogen and other propulsion systems. [more – original PR]

Original report: Boeing to Open Japan Research Center and Expand Sustainability Partnerships

Boeing [NYSE:BA] will strengthen its partnership with Japan by opening a new Boeing Research and Technology (BR&T) center. The facility will focus on sustainability and support a newly expanded cooperation agreement with Japan‘s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

Boeing to Open Japan Research Center and Expand Sustainability Partnerships

 

– New Boeing research and development center in Japan to focus on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), electric/hydrogen propulsion, robotics, digitization and composites

– Extends 2019 cooperation agreement with Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to include sustainable technology

Boeing becomes the latest member of ACT FOR SKY – a consortium to commercialize, promote and expand the use of Japan-produced SAF

Boeing and METI have agreed to broaden their 2019 Cooperation Agreement to now include a focus on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), electric and hydrogen powertrain technologies, and future flight concepts that will promote zero climate impact aviation. That is in addition to exploring electric and hybrid-electric propulsion, batteries, and composite manufacturing that will enable new forms of urban mobility.

“We are excited to open our latest global research and technology center here in Japan,” said Greg Hyslop, Boeing chief engineer and executive vice president of Engineering, Test & Technology. “Working with terrific partners like METI, the new center will expand upon Boeing-wide initiatives in sustainable fuels and electrification, and explore the intersection of digitization, automation and high-performance aerospace composites for greater sustainability in our future products and production systems.”

The BR&T – Japan Research Center will be located in Nagoya, which is already home to many of Boeing‘s major industrial partners and suppliers. The facility will further expand Boeing‘s research and development footprint in the region, which includes centers in Australia, China and Korea.

Boeing is fully committed to supporting Japan‘s SAF industry and has been accepted as the latest member of ACT FOR SKY, a voluntary organization of 16 companies that works to commercialize, promote and expand the use of SAF produced in Japan. It was founded by Boeing airline customers All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL), along with global engineering company JGC Holdings Corporation, and biofuel producer Revo International.

Masahiro Aika, representative of ACT FOR SKY, said, “ACT FOR SKY welcomes the participation of Boeing. We look forward to Boeing collaborating with the other members to “ACT” for the commercialization, promotion and expansion of SAF in Japan.”

In addition to becoming partners in ACT FOR SKY, Boeing has a long history of innovating with ANA and JAL on sustainable aviation, which includes pioneering SAF-powered flights and launching the ground-breaking 787 Dreamliner. Today, they signed agreements to work together to study advanced sustainable technologies, including electric, hybrid, hydrogen and other novel propulsion systems in an endeavor to reduce the carbon footprint of aircraft.

Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond added, “To ensure the enormous societal benefits of aviation remain available for generations to come, we must continue to partner with capable innovators and leaders to support the industry’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We are humbled to join ACT FOR SKY and collaborate with other members to share global best practices and help with the scale up and demand of SAF in Japan. And we are honored to open the Japan Research Center and expand our work with airline customers ANA and JAL on advanced technologies to realize zero climate impact aviation.”

American Airlines signs MoU for up to 100 ZeroAvia ZA2000-RJ hydrogen-electric powertrains

American Airlines signed (03-Aug-2022) an MoU with ZeroAvia to order up 100 ZA2000-RJ hydrogen-electric powertrains, enabling the carrier to operate regional aircraft emissions-free.

The powertrain is expected to enter commercial operations as early as the late 2020s.

The carrier also announced an investment in ZeroAvia, aligning with American Airlines‘ aim to achieve net-zero carbon greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. [more – original PR]

Original report: American Airlines Announces Investment in Hydrogen-Electric Engine Developer ZeroAvia

American Airlines today announced its investment in ZeroAvia, a leader in hydrogen-electric, zero-emission aviation. In addition to the investment, a memorandum of understanding provides American the opportunity to order up to 100 engines from ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain development program. The engines are intended to power regional jet aircraft with zero emissions. 

“Our investment in ZeroAvia’s emerging hydrogen-electric engine technology has the potential to play a key role in the future of sustainable aviation,” said Derek Kerr, American’s Chief Financial Officer. “We are excited to contribute to this industry development and look forward to exploring how these engines can support the future of our airline as we build American Airlines to thrive forever.” 

ZeroAvia is working to achieve certain type certifications of its innovative propulsion technology that will pave the way for the engines to be incorporated into the regional jet market in the future. The ZA2000-RJ powertrain is anticipated to enable passengers to fly in zero-emission regional jets as early as the late 2020s. 

“Having support from the world’s largest airline is a strong indication of the progress we’re making on the development of hydrogen-electric, zero-emission flight,” added ZeroAvia Founder and CEO Val Miftakhov. “We are focused on delivering sustainable travel, and are delighted that American, a visionary leader in the industry, sees ZeroAvia as a part of the future of aviation.”

This investment showcases another action on American’s path to achieve its aggressive climate goals, including achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. In addition to the strategy and progress outlined in American’s recently published Environmental, Social and Governance Report, other recent sustainability efforts by the airline include: 

  • Receiving the industry’s first-ever CORSIA-certified batch of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Neste
  • Reaching an agreement to purchase 500 million gallons of SAF over five years from Gevo, Inc., American’s most significant SAF commitment to date. 
  • Becoming the first airline globally to receive validation from the Science Based Targets initiative for its 2035 GHG emissions reduction targets.

Alaska Airlines makes significant investment in Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Alaska Airlines finalised (03-Aug-2022) an agreement with Gevo to purchase 185 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) over five years, commencing in 2026.

Alaska Airlines SVP of public affairs and sustainability Diane Birkett Rakow stated: “SAF is the most immediate path we have toward decarbonisation of aviation, but we recognize there is significant work required ahead – including public policy action – to make SAF a viable, affordable option at scale”. [more – original PR] [more – original PR – II]

Original report: Alaska Airlines makes significant investment in Sustainable Aviation Fuel’

Alaska is set to offtake 185 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel from GEVO over five years beginning in 2026.

SEATTLE – Alaska Airlines announced today it has finalized an agreement with biofuel company Gevo Inc., to purchase its most significant sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) offtake commitment to date – 185 million gallons of SAF over five years starting in 2026. This agreement was developed alongside others in the oneworld alliance.  

“Using sustainable aviation fuel is a significant part of Alaska’s five-part path to reach net zero carbon emissions, and alongside others in the oneworld alliance, we are committed to creating a more sustainable future for aviation,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, senior vice president of public affairs and sustainability at Alaska Airlines. “SAF is the most immediate path we have toward decarbonization of aviation, but we recognize there is significant work required ahead – including public policy action – to make SAF a viable, affordable option at scale.” 

Alaska is proud to play a role in advancing this critical market for sustainable aviation fuels. Making SAF commercially viable at scale requires strong partners and action on all fronts. We appreciate the partnership of suppliers like Gevo in tackling this challenge.” 

Ann Ardizzone, vice president of supply chain at Alaska Airlines

In April 2021, Alaska announced the company’s commitment and roadmap to achieve carbon net zero by 2040, and established a five-part path to achieve that goal. The path includes operational efficiency, fleet renewal, sustainable aviation fuel, electric or hybrid-electric aircraft over the long term and credible carbon offsets only as needed to achieve our targets if technology does not advance fast enough to close the gap without. Of this path, sustainable aviation fuel provides the greatest opportunity to decarbonize in the near and medium term, and Alaska has been working for over a decade to first test and then use SAF.  

In 2016, Alaska and Gevo made history by flying the world’s first commercial flight using forest residuals from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., powered by a 20 percent blend of SAF. Today, Alaska is using SAF in its operations in California and works with multiple producers and other partners to use and facilitate the development of additional SAF supply in the future.  

Alaska’s most recent ESG report – its Care Report – outlines more detail on its goals and progress, and details specific challenges and actions needed to advance SAF. More information on Alaska’s sustainability strategy is available at alaskaair.com/content/about-us/esg.   

In September 2020, oneworld became the first global airline alliance to announce a target of carbon neutrality by 2050, establishing its commitment to long-term sustainability for the industry. The alliance followed up that commitment with an intermediate goal to achieve 10% SAF use across the member airlines by 2030. 

Lufthansa Group launches ‘Green Fare’ for CO2 neutral air travel

Lufthansa Group launched (02-Aug-2022) a six month trial of its ‘Green Fare’ to offer passengers a dedicated ticket option that includes the complete offsetting of the flight’s CO2 emissions already embedded in the price, effective 02-Aug-2022.

The service is available to passengers departing from DenmarkSweden and Norway on LufthansaSWISSAustrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines services.

Complete offsetting is achieved by a combination of 20% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and 80% through climate protection projects.

The fare is displayed as an additional option in the online booking process and will be offered by the group’s Scandinavian travel agency partners from autumn 2022.

The fare is available in economy and business class for services within Europe and has been incentivised with free rebooking options and extra status and award miles.

The group stated it is the first international aviation group to offer its customers a separate ‘green fare’ for CO2 neutral flying with SAF. [more – original PR – Lufthansa] [more – original PR – SWISS] [more – original PR – Brussels Airlines]

Original report – Lufthansa: Green Fare: Lufthansa Group is first international aviation group to offer fare for CO2-neutral flying

New Green Fare includes full compensation of CO2 emissions

Test run starts in Scandinavia for flights operated by Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines

Growing demand for sustainable travel offers

The Lufthansa Group is further expanding its CO2-neutral flight offers, making sustainable travel easier than ever before. For the first time, Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines are offering a new fare that already includes full CO2 compensation in the price. 80 percent of the offsetting is done through high-quality climate protection projects and 20 percent through the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). In the pilot project, launched today, the new Green Fare will initially be offered to all guests booking their flight from Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The Lufthansa Group is the first international aviation group to offer its customers a separate ‘green fare’ for CO2-neutral flying with SAF.

The Green Fare is now displayed alongside the familiar fares (Light, Classic, Flex) as an additional fare option in the online booking screen directly after the flight selection. The new offer is available in both Economy Class and Business Class for flights within Europe. The new fare also includes the option of free rebooking, as well as extra status and award miles. Starting in autumn, travel agency partners in Scandinavia will also offer the new Green Fare.

“We want to make CO2-neutral flying a matter of course in the future. To this end, we already offer our guests the most comprehensive range of services and are consistently expanding this further. As of now, we are offering a dedicated ‘green fare’ for the first time, which already includes the complete offsetting of the flight’s CO2 emissions through sustainable aviation fuel and certified climate protection projects, already embedded in the price. People don’t just want to fly and discover the world – they also want to protect it. We are driven by the need to support our customers with the right offers,” says Christina Foerster, Member of the Lufthansa Group‘s Executive Board, responsible for Brand and Sustainability.

Wide range of offers for sustainable travel

The Lufthansa Group is offering its guests a variety of sustainable travel offers and services, which are increasingly in demand. This spring, the option of CO2-neutral flying was integrated directly into online flight booking for the first time. During the booking process, customers are given options for offsetting the CO2 emissions of their flight with sustainable aviation fuels and certified climate protection projects, after selecting their ticket. More and more guests take advantage of this opportunity.  Lufthansa and SWISS customers can now also offset the CO2 emissions of their flight directly on board. The option is displayed in the onboard entertainment system on selected flights. Miles & More also offers customers the option of offsetting the individual CO2 balance of a flight simply by using award miles via the app. A flight from Frankfurt am Main to New York in Economy Class, for example, can be offset with as little as 1,150 award miles.

A clear strategy for a sustainable future

The Lufthansa Group assumes responsibility for effective climate protection with a clearly defined path toward CO2 neutrality: By 2030, the company’s own net CO2 emissions are to be halved compared to 2019, and by 2050, the Lufthansa Group wants to achieve a neutral CO2 balance. To this end, the company relies on accelerated fleet modernization, the continuous optimization of flight operations, the use of sustainable aviation fuels and innovative offers for its customers to make a flight CO2 -neutral.

Brussels Airlines reports ‘sixfold’ increase in uptake of CO2 neutral flying options

Brussels Airlines reported (02-Aug-2022) a “sixfold” increase in passenger’s uptake of CO2 neutral flying options, following the integration of the offer directly into the booking process.

The carrier reported prior to the integration, usage of the option via the carrier’s website was under 1%.

As previously reported by CAPA, Brussels Airlines integrated the options, which include using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), carbon offset initiatives run by myclimate, or a combination of both options, at the end of May-2022. [more – original PR]

Brussels Airlines Extends Options for CO2-Neutral Flying

New fare including full offsetting of CO2 emissions introduced for passengers flying from Denmark, Sweden and Norway as pilot project.

Brussels Airlines introduces a Green Fare for passengers flying from Denmark, Sweden and Norway from August, which includes full offsetting of CO2 emissions using sustainable fuel and investment in climate protection projects. The offer comes now that the willingness for passengers to neutralize their flight has risen significantly. Since the options for CO2-neutral flying were integrated into the booking process on brusselsairlines.com, usage among customers has increased sixfold.

Brussels Airlines, together with the other airlines of the Lufthansa Group, introduce a new Green Fare for its guests booking from Denmark, Sweden and Norway on a trial basis from August 2, 2022. As a contribution to a sustainable way of flying, the Green Fare includes a full offset of the flight’s CO2 emissions in the price of the flight. This is achieved by a combination of 20 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and 80 percent through investments in long-term climate protection projects. As an incentive, the Green fare also includes additional status miles and free rebooking options.

The Green Fare is now displayed alongside the familiar fares (Light, Classic, Flex) as an additional fare option in the online booking screen directly after the flight selection. The new offer is available in both Economy Class and Business Class for flights within Europe. In addition, starting in September, B2B travel partners in Scandinavia will also be able to take advantage of this new option. The test phase will last approximately six months.

Increasing success of sustainable options

​At the end of May, Brussels Airlines had already improved its sustainable offer, by integrated the options for CO2-neutral flying directly into the flight booking, simplifying the process for its customers to buy sustainable fuel, invest in climate projects managed by myclimate or opt for a combination of both.

Since the introduction, the use of the offers for CO2-neutral flying has increased rapidly. Whereas the usage figures of these bookings via brusselsairlines.com were previously just under one percent, they have now sixfolded.

Brussels Airlines and the Lufthansa Group have set itself ambitious climate targets and plan to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. Next to fleet modernization and more sustainable processes, innovative offers such as the new Green Fares are an important step toward that goal. The integration of sustainable options in the booking process already significantly increased the customer’s willingness ​ to invest in sustainable flying, motivating us to invest further in sustainable offerings.”

​ – Peter Gerber, CEO Brussels Airlines

Together with the Lufthansa Group, Brussels Airlines is continuously implementing a wide range of innovative measures to achieve its ambitious goal of halving net carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 2019 and flying CO2-neutral by 2050. To this end, the company is relying in particular on accelerated fleet modernization, the continuous optimization of flight operations, the use of sustainable aviation fuels, and innovative offers to make a flight CO2-neutral.

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