Airbus further reduces its Beluga fleet’s environmental impact with SAF
Airbus has taken the next step in reducing its industrial carbon footprint with the maiden flight of a Beluga super-transporter using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from the aerospace company’s Broughton plant in the U.K.
The north Wales line station, which uses the Beluga fleet to transport aircraft wings to Toulouse, Hamburg and Bremen, becomes the second Airbus European site to use SAF, after Hamburg introduced the fuel to its cargo activities at the end of 2019.
“This first flight by a Beluga transporter from Broughton, partially fueled with SAF, marks an important milestone in Airbus’ ambition to decarbonize its industrial operations,” said Tony Derrien, SAF project manager with Airbus. “Combined with our ongoing research into the potential for 100 percent SAF in commercial flights, reducing fossil fuels in our own operations underlines Airbus’ commitment to lessening the impact of our manufacturing footprint and contributing towards a more sustainable future for the aviation sector more generally.” Sustainable aviation fuels are currently certified by regulators for up to 50 percent use in commercial flights. The Beluga fleet operating from Broughton will initially be loaded with a 35 percent blend of nonfossil-derived fuel, set to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 400 metric tons over the next three months.
The SAF used by the Beluga fleet is made from recycled sustainable feedstocks, such as used cooking oil, and supplied to Airbus in Broughton and Hamburg by Air BP.
“The progressive deployment of sustainable aviation fuels at Airbus’ sites is an essential part of our decarbonization roadmap,” said Andy Owen, Beluga line station manager at Broughton. “We’re proud that Broughton has become the second Airbus site to introduce SAF in its Beluga fleet operations.”