SPAIN’S Malaga was the destination for the first commercial flight out of Brussels using sustainable fuel.

The Brussels Airlines flight used a mix of 38% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to 62% kerosene to power the ‘symbolic’ flight.

The New Year’s Day trip was viewed as an important test of infrastructure that can be used to pipe in SAF using the NATO pipeline.

The underground Central European Pipeline Service, connects France, Germany and the Benelux nations and supplies NATO’s air fleet.

Bruseels Airline Photo Brussels Airline
PHOTO: Brussels Airline

An airport spokesman said: “From now on, sustainable aviation fuels can also be supplied in a fast and environmentally friendly way via this system. It is an important milestone to increase the use of sustainable fuels in the coming years and reduce CO2 emissions.”

The spokesman continued: “Sustainable aviation fuels can now be delivered to Brussels Airport in a smooth, safe and CO2-free manner via the NATO pipeline.

“Brussels Airport is the only Belgian airport that is fully connected to this pipeline network and had been asking for some time to be able to receive not only kerosene but also SAF via this pipeline. Thanks to the cooperation of NATO, this is now possible.”

Brussels Airlines is the first airline to fly with SAF transported through this system. 

Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport said: “Having sustainable aviation fuels available at the airport has been a priority for us and we are pleased that, thanks to NATO’s support, this has now been realised. As an airport, within the framework of our European Stargate programme, we have expressed the ambition to aim for 5% SAF on total kerosene imports by 2026. That is faster than the European target, but we want to fully commit to this together with our airline partners.”

He added: “To achieve our climate goals, we will have to drastically increase the use of alternatives to fossil fuels in the coming years. Next to fleet renewal, sustainable aviation fuel is the most effective tool currently available to reduce emissions from air travel.”

SAF is the term used for various sustainable aviation fuels. SAF reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 80% over the lifetime of the fuel compared to using fossil aviation fuel.

The Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel used by Brussels Airlines is produced from 100% renewable waste and residual raw materials, including used cooking oil and animal fat waste.

Brussels Airlines bought 2,000,000 litres of SAF with a blend of 38% SAF for this pilot project.

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