Sweden conducts first regional aviation ‘perfect flight’

A typical weekday service from Halmstad City airport to Stockholm Bromma airport has been transformed into the ‘Perfect Flight’ where every element in the flight management process on a regional flight has been optimised to keep carbon emissions to a minimum.

A full flight of 72 passengers were on board the Braathens Regional Airlines ATR 72-600 turboprop, the regional aircraft with the best environmental credentials, took one hour to reach its destination on the May 16 flight.

According to aircraft manufacturer ATR, the ATR 72-600 has an environmental advantage, in that it produces 40 per cent fewer carbon emissions per trip compared with regional jets, saving 4,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per aircraft per year. ATRs can also take off and land where other aircraft cannot ensuring accessibility to all airfields, including those that are the most challenging.

With the electrification of commercial aircraft thought to be decades away, advances in aircraft efficiency and the use of sustainable aviation fuel are likely to play a significant role in supporting the aviation industry to meet its ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050.

The Perfect Flight was powered by sustainable aviation fuel supplied by Air BP and produced by Neste. The fuel supplied will produce up to 80 per cent fewer emissions over its life cycle compared with conventional jet fuel and is produced from non-palm renewable and sustainable raw materials. In addition, Air BP’s operations at Halmstad City airport are one of their over 250 locations that have been certified as carbon neutral since 2016.

Anna Soltorp,  head of sustainability at Braathens Regional Airlines said: “We want to continue to fly ‘perfectly’ in the future. To achieve this, it is important that we can access sustainable aviation fuel in sufficient quantities and at the right price. For that we need political initiatives. We intend to continue the development of sustainable flying to make every flight as close to perfect as we possibly can. As a society we need to take action to combat climate change and drastically reduce emissions, aviation must play its part in this. Today, we have demonstrated what can be achieved through more efficient flying without compromising connectivity. It is another positive step forwards.”