Airbus, China Eastern hold first delivery flight with sustainable aviation fuel for A320neo
Published: Oct 12, 2022 09:13 PM
Photo: Courtesy of Airbus

Photo: Courtesy of Airbus

Airbus said on Wednesday that its Tianjin plant delivered an A320neo to China Eastern Airlines that used 5 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as the fuel for the delivery flight.

Flying from Tianjin to Xi'an in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, it will be the first SAF delivery for a single-aisle aircraft assembled by Airbus in China, opening the green journey of Airbus in China.

SAF is a sustainable alternative fuel produced from animal waste and vegetable oils and fats. Compared with traditional fossil fuels, SAF can reduce carbon emissions by up to 85 percent from raw material collection to the end-user stage.

Unlike previous SAF flights by Airbus in Europe, the SAF used in this delivery was purchased by Airbus from China National Aviation Fuel Group, and refined and produced by Sinopec Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Co with waste catering oil as raw materials. It was the first batch of domestic SAF after the large-scale production of China's first sustainable aviation fuel industrial plant.

Airbus said that then all the customers receiving aircraft at its Tianjin plant will have the option to use some portion of SAF when taking delivery.

All Airbus aircraft are currently certified to fly with an up to 50 percent blend of SAF mixed with kerosene. Airbus' first flight test using 100 percent SAF on one engine of an Airbus A350 was conducted in March 2021, followed by an A319neo single-aisle aircraft test in October 2021. 

In March 2022, Airbus successfully completed a third 100 percent SAF flight test using the A380.

China Eastern started the journey of sustainable aviation fuel years ago. As early as in April, 2013, China Eastern obtained the No.1 Bio-Jet Fuel Chartered Flight License issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
As of the end of August 2022, China Eastern has been operating 427 Airbus aircraft, including 359 A320 series aircraft.

Global Times