Delta’s First Carbon-Neutral Flight Takes to the Skies

It was made possible by a combination of biofuels and carbon offsets and will be the first of 20.

Delta’s First Carbon-Neutral Flight Takes to the Skies

Delta is heading toward a more sustainable future.

Courtesy of Delta Air Lines

In the latest example of the airlines responding to mounting concerns about the impact of aircraft emissions on the climate, Delta Air Lines on Friday flew its first carbon-neutral flight as part of its larger goal of cutting its carbon emissions in half by 2050.

The flight was a delivery flight of a new A321 aircraft, traveling from Mobile, Alabama, to a facility in Kansas City, Missouri, where final work will be performed on the aircraft before it goes into service for Delta.

Delta has partnered with biofuel company Air BP to supply biofuels for a total of 20 delivery flights from the Airbus assembly line in Mobile. Those 20 delivery flights will be carbon-neutral based on a combination of the biofuels and carbon offsets.

Air BP supplies airlines with sustainable aviation fuel that is produced by the company Neste. Air BP also has a BP Target Neutral program that allows airlines to offset the residual carbon emissions of a flight, resulting in a carbon-neutral flight.

Delta reported that it has decreased its emissions by 11 percent since 2005 and has been steadily reducing its jet fuel consumption. The carrier has capped its carbon emissions at 2012 levels by purchasing carbon offsets.

Customers can offset the environmental impact of their flights by visiting the company’s carbon calculator page.

Delta recycles the aluminum cans, plastic bottles and cups, and newspapers and magazines from its aircraft, and is in the process of removing various single-use plastic items from its aircraft and airport lounges, including stir sticks, wrappers, utensils, and straws.

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Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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