Vistara, India’s finest full-service carrier and a joint venture of Tata group and Singapore Airlines, today became India’s first carrier to operate a wide-body aircraft using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on a long-haul route. The ground-breaking ferry flight from Charleston International Airport, South Carolina to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, was operated in partnership with The Boeing Company and GE Aerospace, on Vistara’ s newest GEnx-powered Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, the fourth in its fleet.

By using a blend of 30 per cent SAF with 70 per cent conventional jet fuel, Vistara was able to reduce approximately 150,000 pounds of CO₂ emissions over the fuel’s life cycle.

Vinod Kannan, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said, “We take immense pride in carrying out another pioneering initiative to operate a wide-body aircraft on a long-haul route using SAF, as we took delivery of our all-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This is an important milestone in our commitment towards achieving carbon neutrality.”

”We thank our partners, Boeing and GE Aerospace, for their support and hope that initiatives such as this, open up more avenues for the industry to increasingly adopt sustainable technologies. Since the very beginning, Vistara had decided to invest in modern and advanced new aircraft with fuel efficient engines, and we remain committed towards reducing carbon emissions across all areas of our operations,” he added. 

Cleaner alternative

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to conventional jet fuel, lowering carbon emissions by up to 80 per cent over the fuel’s life cycle, depending on the feedstock. Vistara is constantly looking at improved ways to do business, keeping sustainability at the heart of those innovations and this ferry flight on SAF, another industry first initiative in India, is a testament to that.

Vikram Rai, Country Head – South Asia & Indonesia, GE Aerospace said, “GE Aerospace congratulates Vistara on this milestone. The GEnx engine, like all GE Aerospace engines, can operate on approved SAF blends today. Compatibility with existing aircraft engines is one of the reasons SAF is critical to helping the aviation industry reach its goal to be net zero by 2050 and collaborations like this encouraging greater adoption of SAF globally helps bring us closer to this target. The GEnx is also up to 15 per cent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, helping reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in flight in addition to the benefits of SAF.”