Sustainability in the Air: September Edition

In the recent month we saw a number of announcements from airlines — big and small — about the measures they are taking to reduce their emissions to net-zero in 30 years. As there is no silver bullet to that target, every approach matters. From voluntary carbon offset, to sustainable aviation fuel, to alternative energy aircrafts. Read our latest digest to learn what’s new in sustainable aviation.


The White House released a plan to spur development of the biofuel the industry will need. Under the White House plan, the departments of Energy and Agriculture will be carrying out a Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge to ultimately make the industry carbon neutral by 2050. The goal of the challenge is “to reduce costs, enhance sustainability, and expand production and use of sustainable aviation fuels that achieves a minimum of a 50% reduction in life cycle GHGs compared to conventional fuel,” the agencies said.


Zagreb Airport received an Airport Carbon Accreditation from the Airport Council International, which confirms the level 3 of management and reduction of CO2 emissions in everyday airport activities. In recent years, Zagreb Airport has introduced a wide range of energy management measures that have enabled it to monitor and reduce overall energy consumption, such as the installation of efficient LED lighting, low voltage reconstruction in transformer station, boiler room reconstruction, reconstruction and modernization of the heating/cooling substation and hot water using solar collectors. Thanks to all these activities, the carbon emissions at the airport were reduced by 4% between 2017 and 2019, despite a significant increase in the number of passengers in that period.


This past month was all about sustainable aviation fuel.

Chevron, Delta Air Lines, and Google have signed an agreement to test and track sustainable aviation fuel and its emissions at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). In the new effort at LAX, Chevron will be creating a SAF test batch at its El Segundo Refinery and selling the product to Delta who will use it in its fleet at LAX, according to the companies.

British Airways introduced a mechanism allowing customers to buy sustainable aviation fuel to reduce their carbon footprints. Payments for SAF will be offered to passengers alongside an existing option to purchase carbon offsets entailing investment in projects such as reforestation.


A lot is going on in the world of electric planes that are planned to start their commercial use by 2025.

Airflow Aero announced a letter of intent with Ravn Alaska to supply 50 electric Short Take Off and Landing aircrafts. This will enable Ravn to better serve its customers, according to CEO Rob McKinney. unveiled its first commercial product to serve regional air mobility markets. Like the Airflow eSTOL, it’s, “Designed to carry up to seven passengers and a pilot as far as 500 miles while operating out of areas shorter than a soccer field, including rooftops and parking lots. Electra’s ‘blown lift’ technology — where the electric motor-driven propellers blow air over the entire span of the wing and its flaps — allows safe, energy-efficient takeoff and landings at speeds below 30 mph while cruising at high-speeds of 200 mph.”

US regional carrier, Mesa Airlines, is excited to fly Heart Aerospace’s 19-seat electric aircraft. Billed as the world’s first electric regional aircraft, Mesa could fly up to 100 planes, with the first coming in 2026, assuming all goes well with the building and certification of the aircraft. Mesa’s CEO, Jonathan Ornstein, is excited about the opportunities the aircraft will reopen in commercial aviation.

Airflow Aero announced a letter of intent with Ravn Alaska to supply 50 electric Short Take Off and Landing aircrafts.
Airflow Aero announced a letter of intent with Ravn Alaska to supply 50 electric Short Take Off and Landing aircrafts.


According to a recent study by travel company Virtuoso, 82% of participants said the pandemic has made them want to travel more responsibly, while 72% said travel should support local economies, preserve culture and community and protect the planet. Another study, this time by travel site The Vacationer, has similarly found that sustainable travel was somewhat or very important to travellers (83%), but almost half respondents (48%) said they would opt for such trips only if it did not inconvenience them. Corporate Travel Community offers an illustrative insight into a key industry observation or trend, highlighting a simplified view from UK travel management company Corporate Traveller into how some common travel metrics rank against sustainability, traveller wellness and company cost.


App in the Air’s partner, CBL Markets, that gives our users access to environmental projects for offsetting the flights, set a monthly volume record! In the normally somnolent month of August, CBL set a monthly volume record of 15,113,044 tonnes transacted — 14% higher than the previous record set in March 2021, and 812% higher than August 2020. Year-to-date carbon volumes, through August, totaled 70,623,218 tonnes up 291% versus the same period last year.

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