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Wed, 22 June 2022

Braathens Flies ATR 72-600 with 100% SAF in Both Engines

(22 June 2022, 11:13 +07)  On Tuesday, Braathens Regional Airlines, ATR and Neste, a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplier, collaborated to enable the first 100% SAF-powered test flight on a commercial regional aircraft.

When used in neat form Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions over its life cycle by up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel use.

The historic test flight took place in Sweden and is part of the 100% SAF certification process of ATR aircraft that started in September 2021 in cooperation with Braathens and Neste and should be completed by 2025.

Braathens Regional Airlines, ATR and Neste worked together to fly an ATR 72-600 with SAF in both engines. Click to enlarge.
Braathens, ATR and Neste worked together to fly an ATR 72-600 with SAF in both engines.

It has been the latest in a series of successful ground and flight tests on the ATR 72-600 prototype aircraft performed at the beginning of 2022, including flights with 100% SAF in one engine, and today it was the first time it was done with 100% SAF in two engines.

Today is a historic day for aviation, said ATR CEO, Stefano Bortoli on Tuesday. After more than a century of commercial flights powered by kerosene, we are at the dawn of a new era. In recent months, we carried out a series of successful flights with sustainable 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 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.

Chief ATR pilot Cyril Cizabuiroz, Jean-Pierre Marre, co-pilot, and Pascal Daussin, Flight Test Mechanic, flew the Braathens aircraft from Malmo a coastal city in southern Sweden to Bromma near Stockholm, which took around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

The results of the test flight will now be thoroughly analysed.

SAF plays a key role in achieving aviations emission reduction goals, said Jonathan Wood, Nestes Vice President Europe, Renewable Aviation. When used in neat form, at 100% concentration as on this test flight, Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions over its life cycle by up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel use, and provides additionally non-CO2 benefits through significantly reduced particulate emissions, among others. As a drop-in fuel, it can be used in existing aircraft engines and is compatible with current airport fuel infrastructure. Test flights like this show it is possible to safely fly on 100% SAF and help accelerate the adoption of SAF in aviation.

Achieving this milestone was also made possible by Swedavia enabling the SAF to be uplifted to the ATR aircraft at Malmo airport and Pratt & Whitney, closely working together with ATR and Braathens in the preparations of this milestone flight.

Tuesdays flight is proof that speeding up the transition to net zero carbon emissions can only be achieved when all stakeholders within aviation work closely together. It is a milestone not just for Sweden but globally showing that the technology is available and has significant benefits to aviation, now and in the future.

Per G Braathen, Chairman of Braathens Regional Airlines, said, As a leading Swedish domestic airline our sustainability focus started long before any other airline, and this milestone is one of the main pillars and represents a real innovation for the industry. It proved that 100% SAF is the most immediate and effective option we have to reduce CO2 emissions and move faster to a decarbonized industry.

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