Cathay Pacific aims net-zero by ’50

Cathay Pacific understands its responsibility towards sustainable aviation and is committed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. For this, the airline is focusing on many areas, including use of sustainable aviation fuel for 10 per cent of its total fuel consumption by 2030.

Janice Alyosius

Cathay Pacific, a founding member of the Aviation Climate Taskforce, understands its responsibility towards sustainable aviation.

“We have established a timeline for making carbon neutrality a reality, thus committing to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Our goals align with UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and pursue efforts to limit this increase to 1.5°C,” said Anand Yedery, Regional Head, Marketing and Sales – South Asia, Middle East and Africa at Cathay Pacific.

The airline has been focusing on many areas to meet the carbon neutrality targets. Some of the key focus areas are:

Investing in SAF

Cathay Pacific has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF for more than a decade. “We continue to reaffirm our commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by pledging to use SAF for 10 per cent of our total fuel consumption by 2030,” said Yedery.  Besides, Cathay Pacific has been the first airline to partner with Airbus in 2016 and used SAF during aircraft delivery flights. “Since 2016, we have taken delivery of over 41 Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 aircrafts from Toulouse to Hong Kong using a blend of SAF made from sustainable sugar feedstock,” he said.

“We are also the first airline to invest in Fulcrum BioEnergy in 2014 – a sustainable aviation fuel manufacturer. As a next step, we will begin taking deliveries of SAF produced by Fulcrum, which we will use for our selected operations out of USA starting 2024 onwards. Additionally, we have committed to purchasing 1.1 million tonnes of SAF over 10 years, covering around 2 per cent of our pre-COVID-19 fuel requirements on an annual basis,” he added.

Offsetting carbon emission

Cathay Pacific is also a pioneer in developing and launching the Fly Greener, a carbon-offsetting scheme, that provides passengers the opportunity to offset their flights based on the CO2 emission generated from their flight.

“In 2020, as an airline, we offset 41,134 tonnes of carbon emission that was produced by us during operations. Since the launch of Fly Greener, we have offset more than 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from the atmosphere,” Yedery shared.

Efficiency enhancement

Yedery said, “We continue to explore and implement comprehensive solutions that help address our environmental impact. Some of the solutions adopted by us include improving operational fuel efficiency, using alternative jet fuel and reducing engine use on-ground. Additionally, we have invested in younger more fuel-efficient fleets, which include the latest Airbus A321neo, A350-900 and A350-1000. The newer generation aircrafts are lighter and more cost-efficient with reduced maintenance requirements. Moreover, the combined technological advancement enables these aircraft to be up to 25 per cent more fuel-efficient compared with previous generation aircraft.”

“Cathay Pacific has also invested in technology that provides operational improvements such as e-Enabled Aircraft Programmes, Reducing Engine Taxi-In (RETI) and electronic Flight Folder that help us achieve operational efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emission,” he added.

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