|20 July 2016|
It was a landmark moment for the African aviation industry last week after the first sustainable biofuel flight took place between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The South African Airways Group (SAA) and Mango flights used home-grown feedstock from the Marble Hall area in the Limpopo region of South Africa as part of Project Solaris, a biofuels project named after the energy tobacco plant used.
SAA collaborated with Boeing, a leader in the development of sustainable biofuels; SkyNRG, a global player in sustainable jet fuel and Sunchem Holding, an industrial research and development company working in the field of extracting energy from plants and the Solaris patent holder.
“The project has brought economic and rural development to the Limpopo province in keeping with SAA’s mandate to support the South African National Developmental Plan. It establishes a new regional bio jet fuel supply chain of which we can rightfully be proud. SAA as a leading African and global airline is a trailblazer when it comes to environmental and social sustainability in Africa,” says Musa Zwane, SAA’s Acting CEO.
Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said: “Mango has always been in great support of environmental initiatives and has, over the past decade, engaged in several sustainable and environmentally beneficial social development programmes. In addition, over time, we have taken several measures to reduce fuel consumption and, as a positive consequence, the reduction of emissions through the installation of lighter seating and removal of excess aircraft weight among others. It is a privilege to participate in the SAA biofuel programme. The project also shows how, when various role players come together and collaborate, success is imminent.”