U.S. airline Delta Air Lines recently participated in the SkyTeam Sustainable Flight Challenge, in which all SkyTeam member airlines share experiences, learning and innovative programs to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.
Regarding this experience, Pam Fletcher, Delta’s chief sustainability officer noted that «innovation through a partnership is the fastest way for our industry to start reducing our emissions immediately.» «This flight challenge gives us the opportunity to collaborate with our partners on solutions available today while accelerating tomorrow’s technologies,» she added.
The test flight was conducted with a Boeing 737-900ER between Atlanta and Salt Lake City, which used a blend comprised of 400 gallons – approximately 1500 liters – of sustainable jet fuel, which can reduce emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional fossil fuels.
Additionally, the airline reported that the aircraft has «specific features including new landing gear tires that reduce the aircraft’s weight by 100 pounds and winglets that reduce drag, increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.»
Delta has other initiatives such as promoting the implementation of 100% electric ground operations vehicles, as well as reducing waste and contributing from different angles to the development of sustainable airline industry. This involved the launch of new amenity kits for its passengers, blankets and pillows made from recycled plastics, among others.
On the flight carried out as part of the Sustainable Flight Challenge, the company offered sustainable options to its passengers. «Customer service was reinvented without disposable plastic, all beverage containers were recycled and all food and service scraps were composted in Salt Lake City. This was a zero-waste flight, with the exception of safety, health and hygiene items that can be single-use,» they stated.
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