Virgin Atlantic has announced ambitious carbon targets as the airline renews its mission to achieve net zero by 2050.
The airline aims to achieve a 15% gross reduction in CO2 achieved through continued fleet transformation and operational efficiency by 2026.
By 2030, a 15% net reduction in total CO2 emissions, including 10% of fuel sourced from sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and a 40% net reduction in total CO2 emissions by 2040.
As a long-standing advocate for SAF, Virgin Atlantic has been partnering with LanzaTech since 2011, flying the world’s first commercial flight operated on sustainable fuels in 2018 and supporting efforts to build the first UK SAF plant by 2025.
It also continues to support new technology innovation, most recently working with partners, Storegga Geotechnologies and Carbon Engineering, to accelerate the use of direct air capture of CO2.
As a founding member of Sustainable Aviation and the UK’s Jet Zero Council and through the Clean Skies for Tomorrow coalition, Virgin Atlantic continues to play an active role in bringing industry and Government together to accelerate SAF development at scale.
Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic, said: “We know that as an airline we have a pivotal role to play in protecting the planet, while connecting people across the globe and strengthening crucial trade connections.
“For more than a decade we’ve been leading the way in the decarbonisation of the aviation industry, and now as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic we have a unique opportunity to ensure we return to the skies more sustainably. The carbon targets outlined today will help us achieve this as we work tirelessly on our mission to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
“Aviation is a truly global industry, and we can’t tackle this on our own. That’s why we’re continuing to work closely with the UK’s Jet Zero Council and Sustainable Aviation, as well as aligning with innovation and technology partners across the industry and beyond. There is a long road ahead but we’re committed to pioneering change and being transparent on our progress, on our way to a low carbon future.”
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