In its endeavour to go green, SpiceJet, India’s most innovative airline, today successfully conducted India’s first-ever BioJet Fuel powered flight. The airline successfully undertook the flight today on the Dehradun-Delhi route.
SpiceJet is the only airline in India to explore aerial operations powered by BioJet fuel and intends to undertake operations using a blend of 75% of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and 25% of BioJet fuel, which has the potential of reducing carbon footprint by 15%.
Made from Jatropha crop, the fuel has been developed by the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), one of the constituent laboratories of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research based in Dehradun. The BioJet fuel has been recognised by American Standard Testing Method (ASTM) and meets the specification standards of Pratt & Whitney and Bombardier for commercial application in aircraft.
SpiceJet has always been in the forefront in practicing initiatives that can lead to more Green miles. These include plantations drives, solar power projects, distribution of seed cards, Clean Ganga Fund, installing roof top solar panels in Majuli to provide a complete village with clean power and many more.
Last year, SpiceJet placed an order for 205 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The fuel-efficient Max planes are expected to reduce fuel consumption by about 15%. The advanced technology winglet in these aircraft helps reduce the drag and further enhances fuel efficiency. Besides, the new Max fleet will leave 40% lesser noise footprint. Complete induction of Max fleet with lightweight titanium seats will bring in savings of 22,000 tonnes of fuel each year. With these initiatives SpiceJet will be much ahead of IATA target of 2020 and 2025.
The airline has also initiated new food packaging which will go a long way in reducing the dependence on plastic and therefore will promote a culture of recycling. Strategic use of trays will be used in place of the current packaging. These trays are reusable and also recyclable, which makes them extremely environment friendly.
According to IATA, aviation industry contributes to 2% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the world which will rise as the aviation industry is expanding and has set ambitious targets to mitigate carbon emissions from air transport – an average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year from 2009 to 2020, a cap on net aviation carbon emissions from 2020 (carbon-neutral growth) and a reduction in net aviation carbon emissions of 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. IATA has also set out a target for one billion passengers to fly on aircraft using a mix of clean energy and fossil fuels by 2025.
The advantage of using BioJet fuel as compared to ATF is that it reduces carbon emissions and enhances fuel efficiency.