Sweden’s Braathens Regional Airlines said it operated what it understands to be the first flight of a commercial aircraft powered entirely by sustainable aviation fuel.
The carrier performed the test flight from Malmo to Bromma, near Stockholm, using a plane from turboprop manufacturer ATR, in collaboration with SAF maker Neste Oyj, the companies said in a statement Tuesday.
Sustainable fuel is seen as the most realistic route to decarbonizing aviation as technologies including electric and hydrogen airliners remain years away. ATR and Braathens are working on certifying a 100% SAF-powered aircraft by 2025, the planemaker, owned Airbus SE and Leonardo SpA, said in the release.
The project uses an ATR 72-600 prototype, with the historic flight marking the first time the aircraft has flown with SAF in both of its Pratt & Whitney Canada engines. When used in neat form Neste SAF reduces greenhouse gas emissions over its lifecycle by up to 80% compared with kerosene, the companies said.
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