• SATA Group

Azores Airlines conducts its 1st flight using sustainable aviation fuel

Azores Airlines conducted its first-ever flight using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) Oct. 24, the airline’s parent company SATA Group announced Nov. 9.

Just days before the Nov. 9 announcement, the SATA Group joined the European Union’s Zero Emissions Aviation Alliance, an initiative aimed at decarbonizing the sector by 2050.

Azores Airlines’ first commercial flight fueled with SAF connected Lisbon and Ponta Delgada, Portugal, in an Airbus A320 named Unique with registration CS-TKK.

The fuel used on this route incorporated 39 percent renewable origin material known as hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA), representing a 35 percent reduction in total CO2 emissions.

The preparation and monitoring of this first commercial flight using SAF 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 percent 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 per 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,” the airline stated.

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