Spanish airline Volotea now flies with 50% renewable fuel

by Lorraine Williamson

Volotea has completed its first flight using 50% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Repsol. The Spanish airline marks this as a new milestone in the aviation sector. The new route between Madrid and Murcia Region, which was opened last December, has been selected for this initiative.

Headquartered in Barcelona, Volotea specialises in connecting small and medium-sized European cities. Since 2022, the company has been working with various suppliers to integrate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) into the operation of its fleet.

Volotea flies from Madrid and Barcelona to Murcia

Volotea is the only airline that flies directly from Madrid and Barcelona to the Murcia region. Both routes, which opened in December 2023, are highly sought after by Murcians, the airline said.

SAF reduces CO2 emissions

This first flight of Volotea with 50% SAF – the maximum allowed by current certifications – produced and delivered by Repsol, is part of the agreement between the two airlines on the occasion of the Repsol Guía 2024 Soles Gala in the city of Cartagena (Region of Murcia).

SAFs can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 80% throughout their life cycle. This is according to studies by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). According to ReFuelEU Aviation regulations, airlines must already include 6% of SAFs in flights by 2030 and 70% by 2050. The maximum production capacity of SAF in the European Union is currently estimated at around 0.24 million tonnes, which represents only 10% of the required quantity for 2030.

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Volotea has its own sustainability program

“Volotea has taken the necessary measures as part of its Voloterra sustainability program to ensure that the company is ready to meet the requirements by 2050.” In addition, Volotea is also exploring other ways to produce SAF from circular raw materials, along with alternative energy initiatives. This includes green hydrogen and the electrification of its ground fleet.

In total, the company has consumed around 1 million litres of SAF since 2022. This represents a saving of around 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Collaboration between Volotea and Repsol is a milestone

Gloria Carreras, ESG Director of Volotea, said: “The milestone we have reached with Repsol and our strong partnerships in the sector, underscore our commitment to driving research and development of clean and efficient technologies in the aviation industry. SAF is considered the most important option to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This requires not only a lot of investment, but also reliable regulation and continued support from the public and private sectors.”

Also read: Repsol to produce 2 billion kilos of bio fuel by 2030

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