MIAMI – ATR and Sweden’s Braathens Regional Aviation (TF) have partnered with Finland’s Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), to attain a first demonstration flight in 2022.
The three-sided partnership, between turboprop manufacturer ATR, an ATR turboprop operator TF, and Neste a leading producer of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), is part of a common effort to meet the future requirements of the aviation industry decarbonization by achieving 100% SAF certification of the ATR aircraft.
The three partners’ goal is to achieve a demonstration flight during 2022 using one of TF’s ATR aircraft flying with one engine fueled by 100% SAF while 50% SAF fuels the second, and anticipating emissions being reduced by 64%. ATR expects that an ATR turboprop flying on 100% SAF on a typical TF regional route would cut CO² emissions by 82%.
The present cooperation is in continuation of a venture, named Perfect Flight, started in 2019 and consisting of every aspect of a TF’s ATR aircraft being optimized, including flights using a 50% SAF blend, which resulted in a 46% reduction in NOx emissions when compared to a normally fueled aircraft.
ATR types are already one of the most sustainable aircraft with a 40% lower fuel burn when compared to a regional jet of similar size, and resulting in a 40% saving in CO² emissions. As an example, even without using SAF, if ATR aircraft could replace all regional jets departing from Sweden the saving in CO² would amount to nearly 32000 tons and emissions reduced by 42%.
It is on this basis that the ATR turboprop became the first aircraft to become eligible for EU Green Financing in 2019, a year when TFF modernized its fleet by introducing ATR aircraft in replacement of aging regional jets.
Comments from Braathens Regional Aviation, Nestle, ATR
When commenting on the partnership, Per Braathens, TF’s CEO, said: “It is absolutely vital that aviation goes even further to decarbonize. It is what we want, and what our passengers and the general public expect. However, we must be realistic and accept that it is today impossible to achieve this aim with one concrete action only.”
He went on adding “This is a process with many steps and, in the short-term, the most efficient way to reduce CO2 emissions is to increase the use of SAF. Partnering with ATR to achieve 100% SAF certification will enable us to reach our goal of 100% SAF in our planes in 2030. This is in line with our strategy to become the world’s first net-zero airline 10 years ahead of any other airline.”
Neste’s Vice-President Europe for Renewable Aviation, Jonathan Wood, also commented on the common action by saying “We are continuously supporting the aviation industry in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are pleased to be part of this 100% SAF project, which is an important step towards securing certification of flights that are 100% powered by Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel.”
ATR’s CEO Stefano Bortoli concluded by remarking that “Braathens Regional Airlines is the ideal partner with whom to embark on this project. This is an airline that is clearly committed to sustainable aviation and is dedicated to pushing the limits of what is achievable. Braathens Regional Airlines has a history of being consistently among the first to adopt solutions to minimize their emissions.”
He further added, “As well as being part of the first-ever deal for a Green Financed aircraft, it was also the first airline to offer their passengers the option to choose a biofuel flight and is currently the only airline in the Swedish government’s Fossil Free Sweden initiative, actively striving for a domestic fossil-free flight.”
Article source: ATR Press Release
Featured image: Braathens ATR 72-600 F-WWEZ – Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways