Sustainable aviation: Vueling and Iberia focus on new fuels

  Fuels, NEWS & INTERVIEWS, Sustainable Mobility, Technical innovation

The Catalan carrier has signed a series of agreements with production companies; the Spanish flag carrier inaugurated the first route flown using biofuel produced by Repsol starting from industrial waste

The Catalan airline Vueling has signed a series of collaboration agreements with companies producing sustainable aviation fuels (Saf). The goal is to create work groups and encourage the introduction of new, greener fuels into daily operations. Since 2019, the airline has operated the third most modern fleet in Europe, comprising 25 Airbus A320neo. This type of aircraft is capable of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 18% compared to the previous model. Since 2013, its aircraft have been equipped with devices called sharklets installed on the tips of the wings, that help achieve a 4% drop in carbon dioxide emissions.

Vueling also managed to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by over five thousand tonnes by reducing the weight of its aircraft: all kinds of action – from lighter seats to digitization of on-board documentation – made it possible to save over one thousand tonnes of fuel per year. Together with the Spain’s national air traffic administrator, Enaire, the carrier is working on the modernization of management of flows to optimize flight efficiency. Vueling is a member of the International Airlines Group (Iag), the first airline holding company to commit to using sustainable fuel for 10% of its flights by 2030. All the company’s initiatives are developed through the Flightpath Net Zero programme, which has set the attainment of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Repsol and Iberia are also moving in the same direction, having completed the first flight with biofuel produced from waste generated in the Petronor industrial complex in Spain. The Madrid-Bilbao route was covered by an Iberia Airbus A320neo, achieving a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 1.4 tonnes. Aeropuertos Españoles and Navegación Aérea (Aena) also supported this initiative – the result of a collaboration agreement signed last July – and work continues on projects aimed at promoting the production and use of sustainable fuel for airlines. Repsol is a pioneer of sustainable aviation fuels in Spain. Thanks to this production in its industrial complexes, the company is well ahead of the various measures set to be implemented by the European Union to promote the use of sustainable aviation fuels.