This comes on the eve of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace 2023 exhibition (LIMA 2023) as Airbus participates in a demonstration flight with the latest generation A220 aircraft, powered by a 10 per cent blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Kuching to Langkawi.
SAF is produced from sources such as used cooking oil, municipal waste or biomasses that do not compete with the food chain and are produced with no negative impact on the environment.
SAF can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 per cent on a lifecycle basis, making it a key component in the aviation industry’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
Airbus president for Asia-Pacific Anand Stanley said that sustainability has become a critical factor for airlines around the world when making their fleet decisions.
“Fleet renewal with the latest generation aircraft can bring an immediate reduction in fuel consumption and emissions of around 25 per cent,” he said in a statement.
“The next phase will be the increased use of sustainable aviation fuels and ultimately the use of new low energy sources such as hydrogen.”
Aircraft produced by Airbus today are already capable of flying with up to 50 per cent SAF and the aim is to increase this to 100 per cent by 2030. For airlines to take full advantage of this, viable industrial systems need to be established to produce and commercialise these energy sources.
“Ensuring a sustainable future for our industry has become a priority for Airbus, especially as we move out of the challenges we have faced during the pandemic. We are taking up this challenge with partners across the world and from across all sectors.”
Stanley added that Airbus already has a significant industrial footprint in Malaysia through well-established mutually beneficial partnerships. This includes being a founding partner in AMIC, which has taken the lead in studying potential for suitable feedstock locally sourced in Malaysia to produce SAF, such as algae oil and seaweed.
“In order to meet our goals towards the decarbonisation of our industry, another priority will be to attract the right talents to join us,” he said. “Malaysians make-up 96 per cent of our workforce of 700 people here and we are working closely with various agencies in the country to nurture local aerospace talent, including via the PROTEGE programme.
“There are significant opportunities for Airbus to expand our presence as an aerospace citizen in Malaysia. We look forward to building new partnerships in sustainability and Space as we move ahead.”
Airbus will be one of the largest exhibitors at LIMA 2023 with a stand highlighting its complete range of products and services covering the commercial aircraft, helicopter, defence, and space markets.Highlights will include the visit of the A220 on Day One of the show, which will undertake a demonstration flight partially powered by SAF. In addition, the Royal Malaysian Air Force A400M military airlifter and H225M helicopter will participate in aerial displays, and visitors will be able to get up close with both aircraft on static display.