Virgin Atlantic Describes Its Plan to Become Net-Zero by 2050.
Virgin Atlantic is fully committed to the idea of converting its operations to Netzero by 2050. To achieve this goal, the airline has set ambitious CO2 emission reduction targets today, with milestones to be achieved along the way. With a combination of fleet renewal, the use of SAF, innovation and compensation, Virgin Atlantic is setting the course for a carbon-free future.
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The aviation industry largely accepts the arbitrary date of 2050 for Netzero emissions to be reached. However, the roadmap to get from where the industry is to where it needs to be has not been as well explored. Turning an inherently very energy-intensive industry green is not an easy task, but it is a commitment that many airlines and stakeholders are eager to make.
Virgin Atlantic today announced its plan to transition to carbon neutral status by 2050. Its ambitious goals set goals to be achieved in different phases over the years, with milestones in 2026, 2030 and 2040. Specifically, these are:
Reduce CO2 emissions by 15% per tonne kilometer (RTK) by 2026
Reduce total CO2 emissions by 15% by 2030
Reduce total CO2 emissions by 40% by 2040
Virgin Atlantic CEO Commenting on the initiative, Shai Weiss,
: “We know that as an airline, we play a critical role in protecting the planet while connecting people around the world and strengthening vital business ties.
“We have led the decarbonization of the aviation industry for more than a decade, and now that we are out of the Covid19 pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to ensure that we return to heaven in a more sustainable way. The carbon targets outlined today will help us achieve this as we work tirelessly on our mission of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 ”.
Virgin not only set carbon reduction targets, but initiated them to determine exactly how these targets will be achieved. By 2026, the airline will achieve its 15% gross CO2 / RTK reduction through ongoing fleet transformation and operational efficiencies. So far, single-engine break-in, efficiency training for captains, and initiatives to reduce weight on board have already happened. We can assume that there will be more smart initiatives like this in the future.
By 2030, the airline wants to obtain 10% of its fuel from sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Virgin has been a pioneer with SAF for some time, and in 2008 it operated the world's first commercial airliner flight with SAF. He has been working with LanzaTech since 2011 and is actively supporting the company as it approaches opening its first UK SAF facility in Port Talbot.
Additional savings are achieved through a combination of compensation and the use of innovative technologies. Virgin was a founding member of the Jet Zero Council and works with the UK government to drive a greener aviation future. It is working with LanzaTech to study direct air capture as SAF feedstock and recently announced a memorandum of understanding with Vertical Aerospace to acquire up to 150 zero-emission eVTOL aircraft.
“Aviation is a truly global industry and we cannot do this alone. That's why we continue to work closely with the UK's Jet Zero Council and Sustainable Aviation, and we work with innovation and technology partners across the industry and beyond. We have a long way to go, but we are determined to drive change and make our progress towards a low-carbon future transparent. "
Virgin has already made great strides toward a low-carbon future. With a young and efficient fleet, consisting of the 787, A350 and A330neo, the airline has reduced the fleet's CO2 emissions by 20% since 2007. Major office locations.
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