Sweden Hosts First 100% SAF Flight - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 28, 2022

Sweden Hosts First 100% SAF Regional Flight

The first-ever 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)-powered test flight on a commercial regional aircraft took place June 21 in Sweden as part of the 100% sustainable aviation fuel certification process for the ATR aircraft.

The regional aircraft manufacturer ATR partnered with Swedish airline Braathens Regional Airlines and SAF supplier Neste on the test flight. ATR first began its SAF certification process in September 2021 and expects the process to be completed by 2025. This is the first test flight in which 100% SAF was used in two engines, following ground and test flights conducted on the ATR 72-600 prototype aircraft since the beginning of 2022 in which 100% SAF was used only in one engine.

The SAF used in the test flight, provided by Neste, is estimated to reduce emissions over its life cycle by up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel use. The flight lasted around 1 hour and 20 minutes and the results of the test will be analyzed and released at a later date.

“Today is a historic day for aviation. After more than a century of commercial flights powered by kerosene, we are at the dawn of a new era,” ATR CEO Stefano Bortoli said in a statement. “In recent months, we carried out a series of successful flights with sustainable aviation fuel in one engine. We now decided it was time to perform the first test flight with 100% SAF in both engines. This helps us to certify our aircraft to fly solely on sustainable aviation fuels faster and to enable more sustainable connections as a result. The flight represents a true milestone for the entire aviation industry as it shows that this technology works and can be promptly adopted by many in our industry to speed up the transition to low-emission aviation.”

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