SAS commitment to sustainability delivers real impact with the A320neo
Recently, one of SAS' new A320neo flew for the first time with biofuel in the tanks. This wasn’t the first time SAS has put biofuel into the regular fuel supply chain – there were a number of SAS flights in 2016 that had biofuel in the tanks – but this flight was a chance to show that while all SAS aircraft are capable of flying on biofuel the emissions reduction with the neo is particularly high.
“If you compare an A320 neo with one of the older aircraft we phased out a few years ago there is roughly a 40% fuel reduction per seat, even without biofuel” says Lars Andersen Resare, Head of Environment & CSR at SAS. “And if we use 50% biofuel in the tanks the emission reduction is around 60% per seat.”
The supply of biofuel is limited, demand is high and prices are also high but SAS continues to work with suppliers to up the amount available and is confident that as supply increases prices will go down, making biofuel increasingly viable.
“There’s no point in showing off what we can do with biofuel without actually putting it into practice,” says Andersen Resare. “So we’re always working with our suppliers, asking for more biofuel and we’re confident that they will produce more and more.”
Other upgrades on the new A320 neos in the short and medium haul fleet, such as reduced cabin noise, more leg room, and USB ports, may get more attention but in the end renewable fuel will be felt in a much larger way: reduced impact on the climate.
“SAS has a strong commitment to sustainability and our ambition is to be using up to 40% biofuel by 2030. Continuing to introduce the A320 neo into the short and medium haul fleet is a big part of that commitment,” says Andersen Resare.
Positive signs from the energy sector point to the biofuel supply chain unlocking but while the airline industry waits for that to happen committing to planes that are increasingly energy efficient even without biofuel is an important step.
“SAS will continue to the lead the way in sustainability as production becomes more regular and prices go down,” says Andersen Resare. “The A320 neo is a great improvement without biofuel and it’s even greater with biofuel.”
Text: Judi Lembke
Published: May 16, 2019