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Biofuels and carbon offsets power first carbon-neutral flights for Delta

In the United States (US), Delta Air Lines Inc., (Delta) has partnered with Air BP to supply sustainable aviation biofuels for an initial 20 delivery flights from the Airbus final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama. The first flight departed from Mobile for a facility in Kansas City where final induction work will be performed before the aircraft moves into service for Delta’s customers across its extensive domestic route network.

In the United States (US), Delta Air Lines Inc., (Delta) has partnered with Air BP to supply sustainable aviation biofuels for an initial 20 delivery flights from the Airbus final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama (photo courtesy Delta).

The newest Airbus A321 in Delta’s fleet made its initial flight on July 12, 2019, completely carbon-neutral, marking a first for Delta as it moves to bolster its ongoing sustainability commitments.

Today’s carbon-neutral delivery flight is a milestone on Delta’s sustainability journey as we work to cut carbon emissions in half by 2050. We are excited to partner with Air BP and Airbus to power these delivery flights with biofuels and carbon offsets, and will explore opportunities to bring this level of sustainability to all delivery flights going forward, said Alison Lathrop, Delta’s Managing Director – Global Environment, Sustainability, and Compliance.

Since 2005, Delta, one of the world’s largest airlines, has reduced its jet fuel consumption, leading to an 11 percent decrease in emissions as it works toward its long-term goal of achieving carbon-neutral growth and reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050.

Airbus is committed to being part of the solution for meeting aviation’s global CO2 emissions reduction targets. Contributing to a lasting decrease of our industry’s carbon footprint is key to ensuring a sustainable future for aviation, said Simone Rauer, Head of Aircraft Operations for Environmental Affairs at Airbus.

Delta was the first and only US airline to voluntarily cap carbon emissions at 2012 levels by purchasing carbon offsets ahead of the ICAO CORSIA implementation, which caps international emissions at 2019/2020 levels. Customers can join Delta in offsetting the environmental impact of their flights via the carbon calculator on the company’s website.

We are proud to help Delta achieve its sustainability goals for the maiden voyages of their new Airbus aircraft. Air BP is supplying sustainable aviation fuel, produced by Neste, for 20 delivery flights, and through the BP Target Neutral program we are offsetting the residual carbon emissions of each delivery flight. This is another example of BP’s commitment to advancing the energy transition and helping our customers meet their lower carbon goals. We hope this project inspires others to follow suit, said Jon Platt, CEO of Air BP.

Recycling and removal of single-use plastics

Delta is also the first US airline to recycle aluminum cans, plastic bottles and cups, and newspapers and magazines from aircraft, accounting for the recycling of more than 3 million pounds (≈ 1 361 tonnes) of aluminum from onboard waste.

Delta is also removing a variety of single-use plastic (SUP) items, including stir sticks, wrappers, utensils, and straws from its aircraft and Sky Clubs, and removed all plastic wrapping from international Main Cabin cutlery and its new amenity kits for all cabins. These efforts will divert over 300 000 pounds (≈ 136 tonnes) of plastic from landfills each year.

This sustainability work and more has resulted in Delta being awarded the Vision for America Award by Keep America Beautiful in 2017 and the Captain Planet Foundation’s Superhero Corporate Award in 2018, as well as being named to the FTSE4Good Index four consecutive years and the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for eight consecutive years.

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