Turkish Airlines started to use sustainable aviation fuel on its flights as part of its efforts to protect nature for future generations in Turkey and in 128 countries included in its flight network. 

Aviation fuel obtained from sustainable sources was used for the first time on the TK1823 flight that departed from Istanbul Airport on 2 February for Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. While sustainable fuel will be used for one day a week on chosen routes, there are plans to use it on different routes on a wider scale.

Dr Ahmet Bolat
Dr Ahmet Bolat

Aware of the effect the aviation sector has on climate change and developing projects to decrease that effect, the flag carrier took a significant step towards reducing the carbon footprint of their guests with sustainable aviation fuel. Sustainable aviation fuel that will be used for Turkish Airlines has 87% less greenhouse gas compared to fossil fuels.

During the first flight using sustainable aviation fuel, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee, Professor Dr Ahmet Bolat said that their efforts to protect our world will continue.

We are the airline that flies to more countries than any other in the world. This also means we are the airline that introduces its guests to the richest biodiversity. We conduct our work towards achieving sustainability with that mentality and responsibility. Our first flight that uses sustainable resources is part of that vision.

The fueling process is also facilitated by the Turkish Airlines subsidiary, Turkish Fuel Services (TFS). Sourced from Neste company, the environmentally friendly product is stored in a TFS fuel farm and gets loaded into aircraft after it gets blended with jet fuel. The next goal of the flag carrier goes further than using sustainable fuel for its flights. The global brand is conducting the Microalgae Based Sustainable BioJet Fuel Project (MICRO-JET) with Bogaziçi University with the support of TUBITAK. When the project is complete, the first carbon-negative integrated biorefinery of Turkey and Europe will start its service.

This sustainable fuel with high energy helps to decrease harmful particles of SOx and NOx emissions due to clean burn. Produced from sustainable raw materials and without any harmful heavy metals, this fuel will be used once a week as a start in Istanbul – Stockholm flights.

Significant recycling effort

Turkish Airlines started over 100 operational optimisation projects in 2008 in order to lower its carbon footprint and successfully implemented them throughout the years. With these projects in every stage of the trip along with ground operations, 15,363 tonnes of fuel were saved and 48,394 tonnes of carbon dioxide were prevented from being dispersed to the atmosphere during the third quarter of 2021. During the first three quarters, total CO2 prevention was at 85,119 tonnes.

During 2019, the best year of global aviation prior to the pandemic, the flag carrier saved enough soil to cover 63 football fields while saving 3,648 trees with its preventative measures in aircraft maintenance operations. Preventing machine and aircraft oil to reach natural water sources, Turkish Technic saved enough water to fill 784 Olympic pools.

As for the packaging of inflight products, the global carrier opts to use starch-based material that can be easily reclaimed by nature.

Environmental measures during 2019 flights:

  • Use of bio packaging instead of 176 tonnes of plastic
  • Combs and shoehorns were removed from travel kits, preventing 105 tonnes of plastic waste
  • All travel and toy kits distributed without exterior bags and 15,229,348 bags were rendered unnecessary to produce
  • 145,743 kg of textile waste were recycled by licensed recycling firms
  • By sorting glass, plastic and paper-based waste at the source: 5,624 kg glass (6,750-gram glass raw material saved), 67,784 kg plastic (1,085 barrels of oil saved) and 252,167 kg paper (equivalent to 4,287 trees) were recycled.

Turkish Airlines will continue to take preventative measures to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and support efforts to develop a sustainable aviation fuel.

For updates and more information on Turkish Airlines, visit turkishairlines.com

Check out Marhaba’s FREE e-Guides to know more about Living in Qatar.