Bakkafrost salmon hitches ride on ‘sustainable’ flight
Yesterday a Virgin Atlantic plane carried out the first transatlantic flight fuelled entirely by sustainable aviation fuel – and it was carrying a cargo of salmon from the Faroe Islands.
The consignment of fresh salmon came from Faroese producer Bakkafrost, which said its participation in the flight was part of the company’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. The trial flight was carried out in collaboration with Virgin Atlantic and distributors Kuehne + Nagel.
Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) comes from non-petroleum sources, typically waste products or sidestreams derived from oils and fats, municipal solid waste or woody biomass. According to the US Department of Energy, SAF has the potential – depending on the feedstock used – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 94% compared with normal jet fuel.
The SAF used on Flight100 is a unique dual blend; 88% HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids) supplied by AirBP and 12% SAK (Synthetic Aromatic Kerosene) supplied by Virent, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation. The HEFA is made from waste fats while the SAK is made from waste plant sugars.
Regin Jacobsen, Bakkafrost CEO, said: “We are committed to being a sustainable business in every sense and with the increasing focus on sustainable exports and airfreight across the world. This SAF approach is an important development for the future.”
Accompanying the shipment was Annika Frederiksberg, Bakkafrost board member and Sales Manager. After landing in New York, she commented: “The way we transport our salmon around the globe has got to match the expectations of our customers and we believe that this inaugural flight is a forward thinking approach to the world’s environmental issues.
“We are very proud and delighted to have a shipment of our salmon on board.”
Currently SAF represents less than 0.1% of jet fuel volumes and fuel standards only allow for a 50% SAF blend in commercial jet engines. The Virgin Atlantic flight demonstrates, Bakkafrost said, the potential of SAF as a 100% replacement for the fossil fuels being used today.