Saudi Arabian Airlines operated the world’s longest net-positive flight, thanks to a partnership with enviro-tech business CarbonClick and aviation consultancy SimpliFlying.
On May 12, Saudia offset a total of 346 tons of carbon emissions, including radiative forcing impacts by a factor of two, for commercial passenger flight SV227, from Jeddah to Madrid, making the flight net-positive.
Operating with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the flight time was five hours and 55 minutes. Flight SV227 departed from King Abdulaziz International Airport at 10:30 a.m. and arrived at Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport at 1:35 p.m. local time.
This flight is Saudia’s entry into the Sustainable Flight Challenge, an initiative by SkyTeam, one of the world’s three major airline alliances. All SkyTeam airlines are being challenged to go above and beyond by finding the most sustainable way to operate one single flight in their existing networks.
The challenge seeks inspiration from the 1934 MacRobertson Air Race from London to Melbourne.
The flight is also equipped with the world’s first in-flight sustainability lab, where passengers can contribute ideas on how air travel can become “greener.”
Saudia’s participation in SkyTeam’s Sustainable Flight Challenge is part of a broader commitment by the airline to continually improve its environmental performance.
“The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 will see 100 million visits to Saudi Arabia by the end of the decade,” said Saudia CEO Captain Ibrahim Koshy. “A cornerstone of that vision is for the Kingdom to be a leader in sustainable and even regenerative tourism.
“As Saudi Arabia’s national flag carrier we have a key part to play in making that happen. As a result, operating the world’s longest carbon net-positive flight is just the start of an ambitious sustainability program that we will be implementing.”
“Saudia has decided to go above and beyond to not only ensure that this flight was carbon-neutral but net-positive. This partnership can serve as a model for the future,” added Shashank Nigam, CEO of SimpliFlying.
CarbonClick has been selected by SimpliFlying and Saudia as the offsetting partner for this challenge. CarbonClick will offset flight SV227 by applying the contribution from Saudia to the generation of clean wind electricity for communities in India.
Michelle Noordermeer, chief operating officer at CarbonClick, said: “Saudia is setting a huge example by showing what can be done now, carbon offsetting, and using quality carbon credits as a powerful way to remove carbon and neutralize the impacts of radiative forcing.”