October 24 will be written in Azores Airlines’ history as the beginning of a new era, the date of its first-ever flight using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

This milestone is even more significant considering that, a few days ago, the SATA Group joined the European Union Zero Emissions Aviation Alliance, an initiative seeking to decarbonize the sector by 2050.  

Azores Airlines’ first commercial flight fueled with SAF connected Lisbon and Ponta Delgada, with 165 passengers, in an Airbus A320 named UNIQUE with registration CS-TKK. The aircraft took off from Lisbon airport at 7:25 p.m. local time and landed at Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island, at 9:30 p.m. local time.

The fuel used on this route incorporated 39% renewable origin material known as HEFA (Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids), representing a 35% reduction in total CO emissions.

Preparation and monitorization of this first commercial flight using sustainable aviation fuel involved the energy partners Galp and NESTE and Carlyle Aviation Partners, a commercial aviation investment platform and lessor of the CS-TKK UNIQUE aircraft operated by Azores Airlines. Together with Azores Airlines’ technical teams, the partners ensured the feasibility of this operation.

SAF offers similar performance to traditional jet fuel and can be used in the same engines as fossil fuel, but with a significantly lower carbon footprint.

SATA Group aims to bring together its efforts to consolidate its sustainability strategy by achieving goals and targets defined for the industry.

This is not the only ongoing action by the Azorean airlines. The ambition to reach zero emissions in 2050 consists of many steps: this is a concrete example of an initiative that contributes to building a sustainable future for the air transport sector, which also contributes to the environmental sustainability of the Archipelago of the Azores.

Source: Sata Azores Airlines