Sweden’s forests to fuel future flights

ATR and airline BRA make first ATR biofuel flight
An ATR 72-600 operated by Swedish carrier BRA took off from Stockholm-Bromma yesterday to Umeå, 45% fuelled with fossil-free used cooking oil. It is the first biofuel powered flight by an ATR aircraft.
BRA, formerly Braathens Regional, links its Bromma hub with 12 Swedish regions, providing “an unrivalled performance advantage in months with adverse weather conditions”, the airline says.
The carrier has started replacing its Saab 2000s with newer ATR 72-600s, which it says are recognised as being the most fuel-efficient aircraft on the regional market.
Several research and development initiatives are underway in Sweden to produce biofuels from different types of wood. Forests cover more than 50% of the country and grow at a rate of 120 million cubic metres a year. Making domestic air traffic in Sweden completely fossil-free would require less than 2% of the total annual forest growth, BRA stresses.
ATR is encouraging the use of alternative fuels and offers support to customers and local governments in developing a comprehensive business plan, from fuel selection to routing and certification.
“Sweden is currently debating a new tax on aviation. It will have a minimal impact on emissions, and will unfortunately slow down the pace in which we can continue to make aviation more sustainable,” Christian Clemens, chief executive officer of BRA, declared.
“The ATR 72-600, especially if powered by biofuel, is the optimal transportation on many of our routes and features the highest standards of environmental care.”
Christian Scherer, chief executive officer of ATR: “Today’s challenge is to get a large-scale production of biofuels at affordable costs while avoiding a negative impact on the environment. Swedish airlines like BRA can take advantage of the massive expansion of its forests, along with the operation of fuel-efficient turboprops, to reach the ambitious goal of halving their CO2 emissions by 2025.”
TTG Nordic