Bangalore, 30 March 2023: Vistara, India’s finest full-service carrier and a joint venture of Tata group and Singapore Airlines, today became India’s first carrier to operate a wide-body aircraft using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on a long-haul route. The ground-breaking ferry flight from Charleston International Airport, South Carolina to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi was operated in partnership with The Boeing Company and GE Aerospace, on Vistara’ s newest GEnx-powered Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, the fourth in its fleet. By using a blend of 30% SAF with 70% conventional jet fuel, Vistara was able to reduce approximately 150,000 pounds of CO₂ emissions over the fuel’s life cycle.
Mr. Vinod Kannan, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said, “We take immense pride in carrying out another pioneering initiative to operate a wide-body aircraft on a long-haul route using SAF, as we took delivery of our all-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This is an important milestone in our commitment towards achieving carbon neutrality. We thank our partners, Boeing and GE Aerospace, for their support and hope that initiatives such as this, open up more avenues for the industry to increasingly adopt sustainable technologies. Since the very beginning, Vistara had decided to invest in modern and advanced new aircraft with fuel efficient engines, and we remain committed towards reducing carbon emissions across all areas of our operations.”
Mr. Salil Gupte, President, Boeing India said, “We congratulate Vistara on the significant achievement of becoming the first Indian airline to operate a wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 787-9, on a long-haul route using SAF. This is a major milestone in the Indian aviation industry’s journey towards decarbonization, and we are proud to have been a partner in this endeavour. Boeing remains committed to working with Vistara and other partners to promote the use of SAF in the Indian aviation industry and around the world, in support of our collective goal of achieving a sustainable future for air travel.”
Mr. Vikram Rai, Country Head – South Asia & Indonesia, GE Aerospace said, “GE Aerospace congratulates Vistara on this milestone. The GEnx engine, like all GE Aerospace engines, can operate on approved SAF blends today. Compatibility with existing aircraft engines is one of the reasons SAF is critical to helping the aviation industry reach its goal to be net zero by 2050 and collaborations like this encouraging greater adoption of SAF globally helps bring us closer to this target. The GEnx is also up to 15% more fuel efficient than its predecessor, helping reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in flight in addition to the benefits of SAF.”
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to conventional jet fuel, lowering carbon emissions by up to 80% over the fuel’s life cycle, depending on the feedstock. Vistara is constantly looking at improved ways to do business, keeping sustainability at the heart of those innovations and this ferry flight on SAF, another industry first initiative in India, is a testament to that.
The airline is currently working under the TATA Aviation Sustainability Working Group along with the other aviation arms of the TATA group for reducing carbon emissions. Vistara, along with other airline companies of the Tata group – Air India and Air Asia India, recently signed an MoU with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Indian Institute of Petroleum to collaborate on the research, development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). The airline would also be jointly working through the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), to lower CO2 emissions for international flights and to curb the industry’s impact on climate change.
Vistara is India’s highest-rated airline on Skytrax and TripAdvisor, and it has been the winner of several ‘Best Airline’ awards, besides being lauded for world-class cabin cleanliness and upholding high safety standards. The airline has recently been featured amongst World’s Top 20 Airlines while being recognised as the ‘Best Airline in India and Southern Asia’ for the second time in a row, ‘Best Airline Staff Service in India and Southern Asia’ for the fourth consecutive year, ‘Best Cabin Crew in India and Southern Asia’ for the second time in a row and ‘Best Business Class in India and Southern Asia’ at the coveted Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022. Vistara also recently received the ch-aviation Asia’s Third Youngest Airline Fleet award for the second consecutive year.