Kenya Airways to pilot in sustainable flight challenge to cut carbon emissions

By Elijah Odhiambo

Kenya Airways (KQ) is set to participate in an environmentally friendly flight that aims to reduce carbon emissions by 2050.

The national carrier is scheduled to pilot in the Sustainable Flight Challenge (TSFC), an initiative of SkyTeam, where it will test the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

During the test, KQ will use a Boeing 787-800 (B787-8) Dreamliner for the return flight between Nairobi and Amsterdam on May 25th, 2023.

TSFC, which is in its second edition, will provide the local carrier with valuable data and insights that will inform policy decisions, regulatory frameworks, and industry best practices related to SAF.

KQ Chief Executive Officer and Group Managing Director Allan Kilavuka said it is the responsibility of the aviation industry to play the leading role in sustainable solutions and practices in the industry.

“As an aviation industry, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are actively playing a critical role geared towards solutions and shared learning for sustainable solutions and practices in our industry,” Allan Kilavuka said.

Allan said they will put all efforts to see to it that the aviation industry gets the necessary support it needs to achieve net zero by 2050.

“This year as our red tail goes green again, we aim to support the industry in achieving net zero by 2050. We are committed to adopting better practices and creating partnerships with people of similar vision,” Kilavuka added.

The SkyTeam Friendly Competition (TSFC) is a friendly competition amongst SkyTeam associate members.

In an effort to spur wider sector transformation, TSFC has this year extended the invitation to “friends & family” airlines of SkyTeam.

KQ adds that it will collaborate with its subsidiary, Jambojet, to develop a variety of unique solutions that can be put into practice and scaled to increase sustainability.

This comes as all aircraft departing from European airports will be required to incorporate a proportion of SAF beginning in 2025.

As a result, KQ seeks to take advantage of the program to be the first adopter of SAF across the region and Africa.

Some of the areas KQ will submit for consideration include a sustainably curated in-flight menu, a carbon offsetting program for customers, and e-mobility for guests, among others.

The SkyTeam Alliance’s second Sustainable Flight Challenge (TSFC) was launched in February this year. The challenge, which took place the first time last year, is a means to encourage the alliance’s member airlines to come up with new ways and implement technologies to operate the most sustainable flights out of the participants.

Patrick Roux, SkyTeam’s new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, speaking during the launch said the members of their team are sharing their wealth of creativity and showing great commitment in making the challenge a force for change.

“The transformation needed to reduce aviation’s environmental impact cannot happen by working in isolation. Our members are sharing a wealth of creative ideas and showing immense commitment in our bold ambition of making The Sustainable Flight Challenge force for change.”


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