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Tue, 14 September 2021

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines Sets Goal of Net Zero Emissions by 2050

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has set a goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Noting that the cooperation of multiple stakeholders including governments, air navigation services, fuel suppliers, airports, aircraft and engine manufacturers would be essential to the successful achievement of the net zero emissions goal, AAPA stressed that the industrys pathway to this ambitious target is an all-industry effort based on a combination of technology, operational improvements, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), and a global  market-based measure, namely the ICAO Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

Sustainable aviation fuels are expected to feature heavily in the industrys overall reduction in carbon emissions by almost completely replacing fossil fuels on commercial flights by 2050.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A350-900 reg: 9M-MAC. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Support from governments and other stakeholders to commercialise SAF through research and development, subsidies, incentives, as well as the allocation of resources for its development and distribution, will be crucial to ensure adequate and cost-effective supplies meet the needs of the airline industry.

Significant quantities of SAF will be needed by the industry as 80% of emissions are from flights over 1,500 km, for which aircraft powered by alternative energy sources, such as electricity and hydrogen, are not available.

The Asia Pacific region will constitute some 40% of global SAF demand, but production and supply facilities in the region are lacking. Allocation of sufficient resources to convert feedstock, like municipal or agricultural waste, waste oils from food production and other biomass for the production of SAF will make a critical difference, said Mr. Subhas Menon, Director General of AAPA. CORSIA has an integral part to play in achieving this ambitious long term commitment. It is the agreed global mechanism for offsetting growth in international aviation CO2 emissions since 2020. AAPA wholly supports ICAOs efforts on this front, and will continue to encourage States to fully participate in the scheme. In addition, investment in emerging sources of energy such as direct carbon capture and carbon sequestration when these become viable, could complement the industrys efforts towards achieving net zero emissions.

Five of AAPA's fourteen members had already committed to net zero emissions by 2050, namely: All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines. The other members include: Air Astana, Bangkok Airways, China Airlines, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Philippine Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines and Thai Airways.

Asiana Airlines is also a member, though it has to be stated that Korean Air was a highly valued member of AAPA up until a few months ago, and with Asiana expected to become a subsidiary of Korean Air by the end of 2021, it does put Asiana's membership into question.

AAPA is run as a not-for-profit association and is fully funded through annual airline membership subscriptions. Membership is open to scheduled international airlines based within the time zones between GMT+5 and GMT+12.

See latest Travel Industry News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: Net Zero, SDGs, Emissions, SAF, Sustainable Aviation, AAPA.

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