British Airways adds former red list countries to its network

Following the welcome news that a significant number of countries have been removed from the UK Government’s red list, British Airways is resuming services and increasing frequencies to a number of destinations.

British Airways is set to ramp up services to popular winter sun destination South Africa, with double daily services to Johannesburg expected by mid-December. The airline will also restart services to Cape Town, offering three flights a week in November, before moving to a double daily service in December.

The airline’s services to Mexico City will also be increasing to five services a week from November 6, and Cancun flights will resume from October 22 and operate daily.

Elsewhere popular South American destinations Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires are set to return in time for Christmas.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said:

It finally feels like we are seeing light at the end of a very long tunnel. Britain will benefit from this significant reduction in red list countries, and now it’s time to turn our attention to eradicating testing for fully vaccinated travellers to ensure we don’t lose our place on the global stage.

Once we have a firm date for the reopening of US borders in November, we look forward to reconnecting our two countries, reigniting transatlantic businesses and reuniting families who have been separated for the best part of two years. We are ready, and we look forward to operating our first flights and welcoming back our customers.

The news of frequency increases and additions to its flight schedule, follows an announcement from British Airways yesterday that is planning on operating its biggest schedule since March 2020. Despite no firm date from government on US borders reopening, the airline is planning to increase flights to the US from early November and will even be bringing back its much loved A380 to operate some of these services.

Customers booking with British Airways can do so with absolute confidence, thanks to the airline’s flexible booking policy. Customers are able to exchange their booking for a voucher or move their dates without incurring a change fee if their plans change.

Lufthansa invests in first industrially-produced carbon-neutral, electricity-based kerosene

Lufthansa Group is a partner and pilot customer of the world’s first production plant for power-to-liquid aviation fuels.

Until now, Lufthansa Group airlines have used biogenic sustainable aviation fuels: kerosene produced from agricultural waste or used cooking oils.

But the world’s first industrial plant that produces CO2-neutral electricity-based kerosene was officially opened this week in Werlte/Emsland. It is operated by the climate protection organisation atmosfair and produces synthetic fuel for aircraft from water, CO2 and renewable electricity. The Lufthansa Group is a partner in the pioneering project and is one of the first customers to purchase this sustainable, electricity-based kerosene. In this way, the company is making an important contribution to establishing PtL (‘power to liquid’) production and promoting the market development of the first available CO2-neutral synthetic kerosene.

Christina Foerster, Member of the Executive Board Deutsche Lufthansa AG said,

Lufthansa’s airlines have been focusing on the research and use of sustainable aviation fuels for many years. We are currently the largest customer in Europe.

Synthetic fuels from renewable energies are the kerosene of the future. They enable CO2-neutral aviation. With its partnership with atmosfair, the Lufthansa Group takes the lead again and provides a boost to the production of PtL.

Dorothea von Boxberg,
CEO of Lufthansa Cargo

The Lufthansa Group will purchase at least 25,000 litres of PtL fuel annually over the next five years and make it available to customers. To use the first quantities, the logistics providers Kuehne+Nagel and Lufthansa Cargo have agreed on an exclusive partnership to purchase the fuel.

Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo AG said,

We see the key to a sustainable reduction of our emissions in flight operations in the research and use of synthetic, sustainable aviation fuels.

The fact that we are now pioneering power-to-liquid technology together with Kuehne+Nagel makes us particularly proud and shows once again that we are actively tackling our climate protection challenges

Global Travel Management runs a Carbon Offset Programme, through which the carbon cost of travel, including flights and hotels, can be offset by planting trees in ambitious reforestation project. Find out about the Carbon Offset Programme, here.

Winners of zero emission flight aviation competition announced

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced the winners of the latest competition focused on making zero emission flights a reality.

Winning projects include wireless charging for electric planes, swappable battery packs to keep flight turnover times to a minimum and state-of-the-art fuelling tanks to safely and efficiently refuel flights of the future.

The fifteen successful projects have been awarded a share of over £700,000 to help bring forward innovative research and technology, which can support UK airports in handling new types of electric and hydrogen aircraft.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

As the world reopens from the pandemic, it is essential that we are investing in greener aviation as part of our transport decarbonisation agenda.

Funding these revolutionary projects will help to slash carbon, create jobs and get us closer to our goal of operating zero emission flights.

The funding forms part of the government’s commitment in the Prime Minister’s Ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, with a commitment of £3 million funding to research into airport infrastructure for zero emission flights this year.

Aviation Minister Robert Courts said:

As an island nation, aviation is essential for our future growth and plans to build back better and greener from the pandemic.

With COP26 around the corner, we’re ramping up our efforts even further by funding the technology that unlocks the flights of the future.

Earlier this year, the UK government set out its ambition to become world-leaders in sustainable aviation fuel production, launching the £15 million Green Fuel, Green Skies competition and publishing a consultation proposing to mandate sustainable aviation fuel use in the UK from 2025.

Val Miftakhov, CEO of ZeroAvia, said:

We are delighted to have been successful with the zero emission flight infrastructure project and to have the opportunity to show just how these projects are critical to the future of zero emission aviation.

In the future, we believe there will be a hydrogen-electric engine in every aircraft as this is the only viable way to deliver truly zero emission aircraft and to comprehensively tackle the industry’s growing climate impact. When we deliver our first hydrogen-electric powertrains into service in 2024, operators need to be able to fuel their aircraft with low carbon hydrogen, and today’s announcement is a big step towards that.

Nicola Yates OBECEO of Connected Places Catapult, said:

Connected Places Catapult is delighted to welcome these 15 innovative projects onto the TRIG: zero emission flight programme. The progress being made in this sector to enable sustainable air travel is exciting and an important step for the UK’s successful transition to net zero.

This funding is the latest in a string of initiatives aimed at reducing emissions from flying and consolidating the UK’s position as leaders in green aviation.

The winning projects are:

Cranfield University

  •  Low carbon energy demand scenarios for aviation (LOCESA)
  •  Wireless opportunity charging of electric aircraft
  •  Hydrogen Safety in Aviation: an immersive XR training scenario for airport personnel

University of Warwick

  • Creation of Full Airport Energy Model to Simulate/Understand Infrastructure Impacts of Electric and Hydrogen Aircraft and Support Vehicles on Airports – A Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) Case Study with Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA)
  • Evaluation of safety zones and mitigation measures for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure at airports

Protium Green Solutions Limited

  • Developing a digital twin for the fast refuelling process and procedure for gaseous hydrogen aircraft

Hive Composites Limited

  • Next-Generation Thermoplastic Composite Pipe for Hydrogen Distribution in Airports

Stratospheric Platforms Ltd

  • Development of a safety zonal tool for the operation of liquid hydrogen powered aircraft at airfields

EGB Engineering Consultants Ltd

  • Modelling of Electricity and Green Hydrogen Scenarios to meet future Airport Demand (MEHSAD)

ZeroAvia Limited

  • Liquid Hydrogen Airport Refuelling Ecosystem (LHARE)

University of Strathclyde

  • Solutions Pathway Evaluation Toolkit for Airside Infrastructure to Power Zero Emissions Flight

Ultima Forma Ltd

  • Flexible electroformed twin-walled hydrogen fuel hoses

Ampaire Ltd

  • Modelling demand of electric aviation and airport infrastructure

School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast

  •  UltraCompHy: Ultra-lightweight composite pressure vessels for safe and cost-effective hydrogen storage

CD02 Ltd

  • SafeBatt: Swappable aircraft battery packs for safe ground handling and charging

£5 drop-off charge introduced at Heathrow

Heathrow has announced the introduction of a ‘Terminal Drop-Off Charge’ across all terminal forecourts from 1s November.

A Heathrow statement said:

As travel slowly restarts, the charge, initially proposed last year, will prevent a car led recovery and reduce airport-related traffic whilst protecting jobs at Heathrow, which has suffered a £3bn loss due to the pandemic.

Drivers will be charged a £5 flat-fee per visit to the terminal drop-off zones. This change is part of Heathrow’s updated Surface Access Plans and long-term sustainability strategy. Income generated from the scheme will contribute towards new sustainable transport initiatives at the airport. Additional revenue raised by the charge will help to lower overall airport charges. In future, the airport hopes to introduce, a new data-led, multi-modal Sustainable Travel Zone (STZ) that aims to provide passengers, colleagues and the local community with more sustainable transport options. The STZ will take the place of the previous Free Travel Zone, with further details expected next year.

The Terminal Drop-Off Charge will be managed through Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems – similar to those used for the London Congestion Charge and Dart Charge – and will apply to all vehicles using Heathrow’s terminal drop-off facilities.

Blue Badge holders will be eligible for a 100% discount. Passengers will have the option to pay the £5 charge in advance, or by midnight the day after making the drop-off. Payments can only be made by card, either online or by an automated telephone service.

Passengers will continue to have the option to travel to the airport via more sustainable means such as Heathrow Express, TFL Rail, London Underground, bus or national coach services. Those driving can also be dropped off for free at Heathrow’s Long Stay car park facilities, which all offer free regular shuttle buses to the terminals.

Heathrow Director of Surface Access, Tony Caccavone, said:

Covid-19 has devastated the aviation industry and our recovery remains stunted by on-going travel restrictions. This charge, first proposed last year, will help us protect the business financially, whilst preventing a car-led recovery and ensuring we remain on course for our long-term goals of providing sustainable and affordable transport options as passenger demand returns.

Chair of independent Heathrow Area Transport Forum and Former London Deputy Mayor for Transport Val Shawcross said:

The pandemic continues to have a significant impact on Heathrow and this charge will help to prevent a car-led recovery and contribute towards new sustainable transport initiatives. Measures to encourage passengers into public transport are key to the airport’s long-term sustainability as it seeks to ‘build back better’. I look forward to working with Heathrow on these future initiatives as the airport recovers from the devastating impact of Covid-19.

Seven of the best

Twenty five years ago, Frankie Dettori achieved the remarkable feat of riding seven out of seven winners at British Champions’ Day at Ascot Racecourse.

Dettori’s achievement – winning aboard Wall Street, Diffident, Mark of Esteem, Decorated Hero, Fatefully, Lochangel and Fujiyama Crest – became known as The Magnificent Seven.

And now, to help Ascot Racecourse and Frankie Dettori to celebrate the quarter century anniversary, we have asked our clients, partners, colleagues and friends to tell us their favourite airlines and airports, in order to produce our own Magnificent Seven.

Here’s what they came up with…

Magnificent Seven airlines

British Airways, easyJet, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar Airways, SAS, Swiss

And some selected comments about these airlines

British Airways “I like to travel with British Airways personally especially for long flights as I find them more comfortable and they provide  decent food and drinks”.

easyJet “Of course low-cost is what it is, but I believe they are a cut above the rest in how you are treated, and how fair and clear they are about their policies and extra charges. With most of the other low-cost carriers, I always get the feeling that they are trying to somehow trick you into spending extra at every single step, be it online check in, or lack thereof, constantly changing cabin bag size limits, etc, but easyJet are much more upfront about everything, and you know where you stand”.

Lufthansa “Lufthansa offers everything I need for business trips and seems to get better and better every year”.

Qantas “Modern cabins, good schedules, but above all, their people are amazing throughout, from check in to baggage reclaim through, of course their cabin crew. I´ve flown both business and economy with them, and they treat you like a star all the way, every time, every class of service”.

Qatar Airways “Long haul I like Qatar Airlines – definitely the best business class I have experienced.  Only once been upgraded to first which was brilliant!”

SAS “Efficient. On time. The routes serve my purposes perfectly”.

Swiss “I have only ever had excellent services when flying on Swiss”.

Some of the other airlines mentioned in the favourite category include Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and, pre-pandemic, Flybe.

Magnificent seven airports

London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Dublin, Manchester, Singapore Changi, Southampton

The poll was unscientific and based entirely on opinions. Do you agree with the lists? Do you have a different favourite airline or airport? If so, join the conversation on Twitter, with the hashtag #MagnificentSeven and tweet us on @globaltravelmgt

Business Travel News

Every week, we produce a short news clip highlighting some of the most important items of news in the business travel industry on our YouTube channel, Global Travel Management Matters.

Here are the most recent clips, starting with the latest…

Business Travel News 29 October 2021
The UK government has removed the remaining destinations from England’s Red List of countries. GTM’s COP 26 Challenge has been launched, with videos submitted from a range of airlines and travel suppliers. And the Wenatchee Museum & Cultural Center has an unusual exhibition, centred on the golden age of aviation.
Business Travel News 22 October 2021
The United States has finally lifted its ban on UK and EU citizens entering the country. Passengers at the world’s busiest international airport can make the most of their time before catching a flight by having the best of the airport retail and restaurant offerings delivered directly. And Global Travel Management has issued the COP26 Challenge to airlines and travel suppliers.
Business Travel News, 8 October 2021
Lufthansa Group has announced details of an exclusive offer, enabling GTM clients to receive discounts of between 3% and 5% on air fares with a number of airlines. Delta Air Lines has recorded its first profitable quarter since the start of the pandemic. And San Francisco Airport Museum is holding an exhibition of wallpapers, entitled The Victorian Papered Wall.

Business Travel News, 8 October 2021
The UK government has announced the list of countries on England’s red travel list is to be slashed from 54 to just 7. The global airline industry has adopted a pledge to meet a carbon neutral target by 2050.
Business Travel News, 1 October 2021
Australia opens up for travel; the #MagnificentSeven announced; and an update on business travel from IHG.
Business Travel News, 24 September 2021
US travel ban lifted. Traffic light system scrapped.
Business Travel News, 17 September 2021
Hotel occupancy in London has hit post-pandemic highs, with rates more than double the April 2020 levels. Heathrow is trialling touch-free bag drop technology, with a view to wider use across London’s busiest airport. And the travel industry is coming together next week with #ribbonfortravel a campaign to support the mental health of hard-hit travel professionals.
Business Travel News, 10 September 2021
More flights to more destinations from London City Airport. Rumours that the UK traffic light system will be scrapped. Tube stops at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station to open. And man’s best friend helps to keep out the virus in Miami.
Business Travel News, 3 September 2021
British Airways continues to ramp up ready for more business travel. IATA calls on the EU Digital Health Certificate to become the global standard. Low-cost start up Hans Airways gets ready to launch India services. And Gordon Ramsay heads a number of catering announcements this week.

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel Global Travel Management Matters here.

Emirates Pavilion ready to welcome visitors at Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020, Dubai’s must-see aviation attraction, is gearing up to open its doors to the public on 1 October.

Located in the Opportunity District, and within walking distance of the Al Wasl Dome, the Emirates Pavilion offers a preview for the future of commercial aviation, reframing the role that science and technology will play in the next 50 years of air travel, as it welcomes visitors to experience two floors of interactive multi-sensory installations.

Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai can plan their visit to the Emirates Pavilion and book their preferred date and time slots in advance.

Construction on the Emirates Pavilion began in March 2019 and was completed in June this year. During its design and construction phases, the Emirates Pavilion followed a number of sustainability principles, using non-hazardous, regional, reusable and recyclable materials in its overall structure, and incorporated different design solutions to reduce energy and water consumption.

The Emirates Pavilion’s towering four-storey design and façade are modelled around an aircraft’s wings taking flight, with 24 aluminium-clad fins that curve around two sides of the building structure. The Emirates Pavilion’s exterior lighting includes an 800 metre LED system, which illuminates in vibrant colours at night. The interior’s bright, ultramodern design lets in ample natural light and serves as a backdrop for the immersive experiences, and can welcome 120 people an hour. T

Friendly and knowledgeable staff and Emirates Cabin Crew will be on hand to assist visitors at the Pavilion. As well as the installations and experiences, visitors will be able to enjoy the Emirates Pavilion cafe located on the first floor, and can also take home a memento from their visit at the Emirates Official Store, which will be featuring customised Emirates and Expo 2020 Dubai merchandise for sale.

The Emirates Pavilion is open every day during Expo 2020 Dubai from 10am to 10pm.

British Airways protects Executive Club Tier status and launches Member benefits

British Airways is further protecting the Tier status of Executive Club Members.  From today, any tiered Executive Club Members with a Tier Point collection end date between January – March 2022 will receive another year of their current status.

It means that no British Airways Executive Club Member renewing over this period, including Bronze, Silver and Gold card holders will lose their Tier status, regardless of how many Tier Points they have earned.  This benefit comes in addition to a 25% threshold reduction in Tier Status which applies until June 2022.

From today, British Airways is also launching benefits for some of its most loyal Executive Club Members with an upcoming flight.  All Silver and Gold Members, regardless of their cabin of travel can enjoy pre-flight dining, which is available at selected North American lounges, including New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Washington.  Meanwhile, the exclusive Concorde Room which is situated in Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK only, will now be accessible to our exclusive Gold Guest List Members, regardless of how many Tier Points they earned in their previous Tier Point collection year.

The reduced amount of Tier Points needed to reach each Tier results is:

  • Bronze: 225 Tier Points or 18 eligible flights
  • Silver: 450 Tier Points or 37 eligible flights
  • Gold: 1,125 Tier Points

Niall Rooney, British Airways’ Loyalty Manager, told us:

We want to thank our customers for their continued loyalty.  Many of our Executive Club Members haven’t had the chance to use their benefits as normal, by further extending their Tier Status, none of them will miss out on the amazing benefits they have earned.

For our Members that have a flight booked, we are proud to be launching more benefits.  From today, our Silver and Gold Members can enjoy more from our award-winning lounges.

On top of this Tier extension, in February, British Airways announced a six-month extension to all Executive Club vouchers, due to expire before 31 December 2021. This was the third extension that was applied, following similar extensions in March 2020 and October 2020 and included Gold Upgrade Vouchers and American Express Companion Vouchers. British Airways is also adding an additional six-months validity to all new Companion Voucher or Travel Together tickets earned between June 2020 and the end of December 2021.

Five stories about mental health #ribbonfortravel

Every day during Mental Health in Travel Week, 20-24 September 2021, we’re sharing srories about how we take care of our mental health, and our colleagues’ and our clients’.

Monday: “How are you?”

“How are you?” 

It’s the phrase we start every call with.  Whether it’s a phone call, a Zoom, Teams, Facetime.  Always the same.  And always asked in order to solicit a full answer.  So if the response is just “fine thanks”, we simply ask it again.  

Working in travel – while the travel industry has been closed down by government restrictions – is a stressful time.  And everyone experiences stress in different ways and at different times.  But you can only control what you can measure. 

So we ask.  And, only when that crucial question is answered, do we proceed – if we can – with the call.  Because, if someone on a call is worrying more about issues other than the subject of the call, their issues won’t go away.  

We talk to each other.  And, to start the conversation, we always ask the question.  And we mean it.

“How are you?”

Tuesday: Time. Travel.

Wherever we are and however distant the pandemic has caused us to be physically, we all live, work, sleep, play and relax in the same place.  The present.  

We’ve all lived through the past. And the past is different for each of us.  But we can’t change it. 

We all live in the present.  And there’s not much we can do about that, either.  

But we all plan and look forward to the place we are going to live: the future. 

So it’s important that future is as great a place as we can make it.  

One thing we do to make the future a better destination is to take care of carbon emissions.  

Travel causes carbon to be thrown into the atmosphere.  Through our relationship with Trees4Travel, we are taking carbon out of the atmosphere.  Permanently.  

So we know the work we do in the present will make the future a better destination.  

And, in turn, that makes the present a better place to be, too.

Wednesday: Duty of Care

We owe it to all of the people that work for and with our company to ensure we do everything we can in their best interests. 

Because staff aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet or seats at desks; they are colleagues, friends and family.  We look out for them.  It’s an obligation we are happy to carry out.   

But we are not unique.  We recognise that each and every one of our clients has a similar commitment to the welfare and protection of their employees.  We call this a Duty of Care.  And we help them to deliver it.  

In the first few weeks of the pandemic, we worked on an online solution for our clients enabling them to manage deliver their duty of care obligations, to remain abreast of Covid-related travel restrictions and the UK government’s latest travel guidance across the world. 

PinPoint lets clients see – in real time – three pieces of information crucial to the well-being of any of their travellers 

  • Traveller tracking 
  • FCDO advice 
  • Local, national and international government lockdown rules 

With this simple snapshot, any client can track the whereabouts of all their employees travelling anywhere in the world, instantly.  They can see the up-to-the-minute travel advice from the UK Foreign Office, so can react immediately if situations change.  And they can see what restrictions are in place in any location, to help them alter travel plans, whenever necessary.  

Our clients need to take care of their staff.  That means handling a lot of fast-changing information, from multiple sources.  It’s a complicated, crucial task.  So, we take care of it.  

Because sometimes where you are has a very important impact on how you are.

Thursday: Removing the stress of travel

As a travel management company, we are aware that the product we create – business travel – comes with stress.  

Every trip, however short, comes with some stress.  Every traveller has things to worry about.  Will the trip be a success?  Will my flight be on time?  Has my hotel booking been confirmed?  Where do I get a taxi?  What if..? 

We are in a unique position: we put our clients into a situation that adds to their anxiety.  So, what do we do?  We do everything possible to remove that anxiety, working behind the scenes, 24×7 to ensure nothing goes wrong; or that, if it ever does, the traveller has all the available remedial options to hand. 

That’s why we developed a new app.  It works for the traveller, behind the scenes, securing connections, making arrangements, updating itineraries, keeping everyone informed about the trip, in real time, all the time. 

Our app tells you what you need to know, when you need to know it. And everything else, it just quietly takes care of, for you.

Friday: Forget about it

Having a lot of things to be concerned about can be very stressful. And worrying about forgetting anything can exacerbate the stress. So, we work hard to make sure you can forget stuff without worrying.

Worried about whether you have given us all your details? Don’t. We’ve built a solution to make it easy for you to update us with your information whenever you need to.

Worried about whether your executive travel card will be updated with your latest bonus air miles? Don’t. We can take care of that for you.

Worried you’re going to forget which flights you’ve taken or when you last flew to a specific place? Don’t. We can run reports for you.

Worried whether your data is safe in our hands? Don’t. The data we hold on your behalf is yours and we work within GDPR rules to keep is safe. (We were experts at masking data well before masks were even a thing).

So, if you tend to worry about stuff whenever you need to travel on business, we have a suggestion for you. Forget it.

These stories were written in support of Mental Health in Travel Awareness Week, 20-24 September, 2021. Find out more about the campaign here.

Heathrow works with British Airways and partners to demonstrate how aviation is moving towards the “Perfect Flight”

Britain’s aviation industry has come together to operate a net zero flight.

The short flight – British Airways BA1476 from London Heathrow to Glasgow Airport – was powered directly by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), provided by bp, blended at 35% with traditional jet fuel in accordance with technical aviation specifications. The remaining emissions produced by the flight were offset.

The aim of the flight was to show how far the aviation industry has progressed in its efforts to decarbonise over the last decade. Several factors within the journey were calibrated to achieve minimal emissions – from British Airways’ Airbus aircraft being pushed back by electric Mototok vehicles powered by Heathrow’s supply of 100% renewable electricity, to flying on the most direct routing and optimal flight level.

The flight was operated by an Airbus A320neo, the quietest and most fuel-efficient short-haul aircraft currently in British Airways’ fleet.

Air traffic controllers at NATS directed the aircraft on its continuous climb from Heathrow and descent into Glasgow, avoiding any levelling off, which causes an increase in fuel burn. The most direct routing was provided by NATS as well as the most optimal flight level and the aircraft was able to land without airborne holding; techniques that successfully saved fuel and reduced emissions.

The flight achieved a 62% CO2 emissions reduction compared to a decade ago – 34% from efficient aircraft and operations, 28% from the use of sustainable aviation fuel and the remaining 38% offset using high quality, verified carbon offsets.

This move towards the ‘Perfect Flight’ showcases a number of the solutions that can help to reduce emissions associated with flying. The industry can use sustainable fuels, reduce fuel consumption by using more efficient routes in the air, and utilise electric plug in power while on the ground to make flights more sustainable. Airports can also follow Heathrow’s lead by offsetting remaining emissions, using natural solutions such as tree planting and peatland restoration to remove carbon.

SAF is a proven technology that can work across the world to decarbonise aviation. While the solutions exist, the UK Government needs to urgently implement policies to scale up SAF, encourage the production of sustainable fuel and have the right price incentives for airlines to use it. This includes setting escalating mandates that requires a minimum of 10% SAF use by airlines by 2030, which British Airways and its parent company IAG committed to recently, increasing to at least 50% by 2050.

Heathrow has been at the forefront of advocacy and change on reducing carbon emissions in the aviation sector. In addition to incorporating the first shipment of SAF into its fuel supply system back in June, the major airport has been running on 100% renewable electricity for almost 5 years, with ongoing plans to switch from gas heating by the mid-2030s, becoming fully zero carbon. 90% of the airport’s cars and small vehicles are electric, with £7m invested in electric charging points. Heathrow’s one of the best-connected airports in the country by public transport with Crossrail soon connecting travellers through central London in addition to the tube and Heathrow Express.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye told us:

The Perfect Flight shows that the solutions to deliver net zero flight exist, we just need to scale them up. The faster we scale up supply and use of sustainable aviation fuels, the faster we can decarbonise aviation and protect the benefits of flying in a world without carbon. What is needed urgently is for Government to introduce policies to increase the supply of SAF and to provide the right price incentives for airlines to use it.

British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, Sean Doyle said:  

This flight offered a practical demonstration of the progress we’re making in our carbon reduction journey. By working together with our industry partners we’ve delivered a 62% improvement in emissions reductions compared to a decade ago. This marks real progress in our efforts to decarbonise and shows our determination to continue innovating, working with Governments and industry and accelerating the adoption of new low carbon solutions to get us closer still to the Perfect Flight of the future.

With BA Better World, we’re making progress on our journey to a sustainable future and have adopted a range of short, medium and long-term initiatives to get us to net zero emissions. Together, we can build a future for aviation that delivers the wonders of air travel while reducing the impact on the environment.

Airbus’ Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs and Communications, Julie Kitcher, told us:

The A320neo is a great example of how far our industry has come.  It meets all the ICAO environmental standards thanks to advances in engines, aerodynamics, cabin and flight operations. The A320neo burns 20% less fuel, which means less CO2, compared to its predecessor and is 50% quieter. 

BP Aviation Division CEO, Martin Thomsen said:

We are honoured to join forces with British Airways on this important initiative. At bp we are focusing on working with hard-to-abate sectors, such as aviation, as part of our ambition to be net zero by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get there too. By working collaboratively with industries, we can help to accelerate decarbonisation and we believe SAF will be one of the key solutions to fulfil this for the aviation sector.

Glasgow Airport CEO, Derek Provan said:

This flight demonstrates the progress the industry has made during the last decade and how we can work collectively to decarbonise aviation. As one of the UK’s largest airport groups, we are committed to achieving net zero by mid 2030s. This involves decarbonising our own infrastructure, including the roll out of fixed electrical ground power (FEGP), which is powered using 100% renewable energy sources.

NATS CEO, Martin Rolfe said:

Live demonstrations like this show just what is possible and are an important step on the aviation industry’s path to net zero by 2050. We can learn a lot from flights like these, as they help us understand how to redesign the airspace over the UK and play our part in making flying sustainable for the future.