Airbus has opened a new sustainable aviation chapter in China as an A320neo for China Eastern Airlines - first time powered by a five percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) fuel blend - took off from its Airbus Delivery Centre in Tianjin.
SAF is a sustainably-produced aviation fuel made from feedstocks ranging from used fat, oil and grease to municipal and forestry waste. Compared to fossil jet fuel, SAF has been demonstrated to result in an up to 80% reduction in CO2 emissions across the entire SAF lifecycle. Therefore, it is considered as a key enabler to contribute to the decarbonization of aviation.
The SAF for the delivery flights in China is produced locally from used cooking oil by SINOPEC Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Company, a state-owned manufacturer in China. It is the first batch of Chinese SAF made by the only certified Chinese facility.
“The first SAF delivery flight of Airbus aircraft in Tianjin marks a historic milestone for Airbus and particularly for us in China,” said George XU, Airbus EVP & Airbus China CEO. “It is a great step towards our vision of contributing to sustainable aviation as a long-term reliable partner in China. Thanks to the joint effort and the consensus on sustainability between us and our partners, we will be able to offer such sustainable solutions to all customers taking delivery from our Tianjin facilities. Going forward, we also aim to partner with more Airbus operators in China to fly commercially with SAF to further support the green aviation strategy in China.”
Currently, all Airbus commercial aircraft are capable of flying with an up to 50 percent SAF blend mixed with kerosene and are targeted to be capable for 100 percent SAF use in flight by the end of this decade. Since March 2021, Airbus has successfully accomplished 100 percent SAF test flights on A319neo, A350 and A380 aircraft.