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    London Luton Airport Leads European Airports in Adoption of Next-Generation Aircraft

    More flights at London Luton Airport (LLA) were operated using quieter, more fuel efficient “next generation” aircraft this summer than at any other major European airport.
    Data gathered from aviation intelligence and data specialist RDC Aviation, shows that between April and August 2023, more than a third (33.5%) of all flights from LLA were operated using Airbus neo or Boeing Max variants, reducing emissions by up to 20%.
    This year has seen LLA working with its three largest airlines to double their next generation fleet averages operating at the airport. In April, Ryanair announced the addition of three new 737 8200 (MAX) aircraft to be based at LLA, while Wizz Air is increasing the number of Airbus A321 neos in its LLA fleet to 100% by 2025. easyJet has also increased the number of Airbus neo operating flights from LLA.
    Alberto Martin, Chief Executive Officer at London Luton Airport, commented: “The analysis from leading aviation data provider RDC, highlights the significant strides that London Luton Airport is making as we look to work more sustainably with airlines. As well as our own commitment to achieve Net Zero carbon for our own airport emissions by 2040, we are working closely with our airlines to reduce their emissions and the agreements secured this year with easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz represent important milestones in our sustainable aviation strategy.”
    Yvonne Moynihan, Corporate and ESG Officer at Wizz Air, added: “We are already leading in sustainability, operating the youngest fleet in Europe¹ in the most efficient way. London is an important market for Wizz Air and we are confident that fleet renewal is a key solution available here and now to reduce emissions from aviation. Currently, the newest and more fuel-efficient Airbus A321neo accounts for over 60% of our total fleet at London Luton Airport. Replacing older generation aircraft with newer technology is part of our long-term fleet renewal strategy to reduce carbon intensity by 25% by 2030. As LLA’s largest operator we are delighted to work on finding new and innovative solutions that help us to reach our targets together, collectively as an industry.”ADVERTISEMENTThe data shows that the increase in next generation aircraft accounted for 33.52% of total departures from LLA, ahead of second place Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport and third placed Lisbon Airport, with Milan Orio Al Serio and Athens Eleftherios Venizelos making up the top five².
    For further information on London Luton Airport’s plan to achieve net zero in its emissions³ by 2040, please click here:
    ¹ Based on official publicly disclosed information² Excluding Turkey³ Net Zero in our Scope 1 and 2 emissions that we have direct control over

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    Saudi Arabia’s New Airline Signs its First Sports Sponsorship Deal with Spanish Football Club

    Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air, and Miguel Ángel Gil, CEO of Atlético de Madrid, display the new team kit.
    Saudi Arabia’s newly launched world-class airline, Riyadh Air and leading Spanish football club, Atlético de Madrid today signed a multi-year partnership naming the airline as the main and official airline partner of the Red and White football club. The partnership marks a significant milestone for both parties and is the first sports sponsorship that Riyadh Air has signed since its official launch on March 12, 2023.
    As part of the historic milestone, the Saudi-based airline will be the main sponsor and official airline partner of the club as part of a multiyear agreement. In addition to having Riyadh Air’s presence on the teams kits, the strategic partnership will bring together two entities that share a passion for excellence, innovation and will allow the airline and the club to reach millions of fans around the world.
    The new airline, headquartered in Riyadh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, recently stunned the world by unveiling one of its unique liveries during the Paris Air Show in June 2023. It is scheduled to begin operations in 2025, connecting the Kingdom’s capital to more than 100 destinations around the world by 2030. As a full service and digitally-native carrier, Riyadh Air will pioneer new technologies and innovations whilst offering guests authentic and warm Saudi hospitality.
    “We are delighted to welcome Riyadh Air as our new main sponsor of the club,” said Miguel Ángel Gil, CEO of Atlético de Madrid. “This partnership signifies a great opportunity to offer better experiences to our fans around the world and I am confident that this alliance with Riyadh Air will elevate our club to new heights.”
    “It is an incredibly exciting day for Riyadh Air as we enter into a long-term partnership with Atlético de Madrid, one of Europe’s greatest clubs, to become their main and official airline partner,” said Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air. “We believe that this partnership is a perfect match, as both Riyadh Air and Atletico share a commitment to excellence and a passion for connecting people and cultures around the world. This airline created global waves when we recently launched our stunning livery and with this partnership, once again we are surprising the world as we move towards our maiden flight in 2025. We look forward to working closely with our friends at Atlético de Madrid to deliver innovative and exciting experiences for football fans and travelers.”ADVERTISEMENTTogether, Riyadh Air and Atletico Madrid will redefine the future of sports partnerships, setting a new standard for collaboration and innovation in the world of football.

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    Global Air Travel Continues to Rebound: June 2023 Sees 31% Increase in Passenger Traffic

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the post-COVID recovery momentum continued in June for passenger markets.
    Total traffic in June 2023 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 31.0% compared to June 2022. Globally, traffic is now at 94.2% of pre-COVID levels. For the first half of 2023, total traffic was up 47.2% compared to the year-ago period.
    Domestic traffic for June rose 27.2% compared to the same month a year ago and was 5.1% above the June 2019 results. Domestic demand was up 33.3% in the 2023 first half compared to a year ago.
    International traffic climbed 33.7% versus June 2022 with all markets showing robust growth. International RPKs reached 88.2% of June 2019 levels. First half 2023 international traffic was up 58.6% over the first half of 2022.
    “The northern summer travel season got off to a strong start in June with double-digit demand growth and average load factors topping 84%. Planes are full which is good news for airlines, local economies, and travel and tourism dependent jobs. All benefit from the industry’s ongoing recovery,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.ADVERTISEMENTAir Passenger Market in Detail
    JUNE 2023 (%YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE *1 RPK ASK PLF (%PT) *2 PLF (LEVEL) *3Total Market 100% 31.0% 28.8% 1.4% 84.2%Africa 2.1% 31.8% 40.5% -4.6% 68.9%Asia Pacific 22.1% 90.1% 73..3% 7.1% 80.4%Europe 30.8% 13.0% 11.5% 1.2% 87.7%Latin America 6.4% 18.7% 17.1% 1.1% 82.5%Middle East 9.8% 28.3% 24.5% 2.4% 79.4%North America 28.8% 12.9% 13.8% -0.7% 88.7%
    (*1) % of industry RPKs in 2022 (*2) Change in load factor   (*3) Load factor level
    International Passenger Markets
    Asia-Pacific airlines had a 128.1% increase in June 2023 traffic compared to June 2022, easily the largest percentage gain among the regions. Capacity climbed 115.6% and the load factor increased by 4.6 percentage points to 82.9%.
    European carriers posted a 14.0% traffic rise versus June 2022. Capacity rose 12.6%, and load factor climbed 1.1 percentage points to 87.8%, which was the second highest among the regions.
    Middle Eastern airlines’ June traffic climbed 29.2% compared to June last year. Capacity rose 25.9% and load factor improved 2.0 percentage points to 79.8%.
    North American carriers saw traffic climb 23.3% in June 2023 versus the 2022 period. Capacity increased 19.5%, and load factor rose 2.7 percentage points to 90.2%, which was the highest among the regions.
    Latin American airlines had a 25.8% traffic increase compared to the same month in 2022. June capacity climbed 25.0% and load factor rose 0.6 percentage points to 84.8%.
    African airlines’ traffic rose 34.7% in June 2023 versus a year ago, the second highest percentage gain among the regions. June capacity was up 44.8% and load factor fell 5.1 percentage points to 68.1%, lowest among the regions. Africa was the only region to see a decline in the monthly international load factor compared to the year ago period.
    Domestic Passenger Markets
    JUNE 2023 (%YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE *1 RPK ASK PLF (%PT) *2 PLF (LEVEL) *3Domestic 42.0% 27.2% 24.7% 1.6% 82.9%Dom. Australia 1.0% -1.7% 1.7% -2.8% 79.4%Dom. Brazil 1.5% 13.3% 8.2% 3.5% 78.9%Dom. China P.R. 6.4% 129.6% 95.7% 11.4% 77.2%Dom. India 2.0% 14.8% 0.8% 10.9% 89.9%Dom. Japan 1.2% 33.8% 6.3% 15.1% 73.4%Dom. USA 19.2% 8.0% 11.2% -2.6% 87.8%
    (*1) % of industry RPKs in 2022 (*2) Change in load factor   (*3) Load factor level
    Australia’s domestic traffic slipped 1.7% in June compared to a year ago. It was the only domestic market to see a year-over-year traffic decline in June, although traffic remained 3.9% above pre-pandemic levels.
    Indian airlines’ domestic demand climbed 14.8% in June and was 1.3% above the June 2019 level.
    Air Passenger Market Overview
    JUNE 2023 (% CH VS SAME MONTH IN 2019) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)2 PLF (LEVEL)​3Total Market 100.0% -5.8% -5.5% -0.2% 84.2%International 58.0% -11.8% -13.2% 1.4% 85.0%Domestic 42.0% 5.1% 8.7% -2.8% 82.9%1) % of industry RPKs in 2022   2) year-on-year change in load factor   3) Load Factor Level
    The Bottom Line
    “As strong as travel demand has been, arguably it could be even stronger. Demand is outrunning capacity growth. Well documented problems in the aviation supply chain mean that many airlines have not taken delivery of all the new, more environmentally friendly aircraft they had expected, while numerous aircraft are parked awaiting critical spare parts. And, for the fleet that is in service, some air navigation service providers (ANSPs) are failing to deliver the requisite capacity and resilience to meet travel demand. Delays and trimmed schedules are frustrating for both passengers and their airlines. Governments cannot continue to ignore the accountability of ANSPs in places where passenger rights regimes place the brunt of accountability on airlines,” said Walsh.

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    SkyTeam’s Santiago Lounge Now Welcomes Priority Pass Members for Enhanced Travel Experience

    SkyTeam’s branded Lounge at Santiago International Airport is now open to Priority Pass members traveling on flights operated or marketed by SkyTeam member airlines, including codeshare services with airline partners such as LATAM, regardless of cabin class or Frequent Flyer status.
    Designed with sustainability in mind and highlighting the country’s rich culture, cuisine and winemaking heritage, SkyTeam’s Santiago Lounge offers spectacular views across the tarmac to the Andes. Set over 757 square meters, the Lounge features 154 seats plus showers, free Wi-Fi and charging points throughout.
    We are delighted to open our Santiago Lounge to Priority Pass members flying on SkyTeam member airlines, offering a thoughtfully designed, high quality lounge that blends SkyTeam service with the spirit of Chile to enhance their travel experience.”  Mauro Oretti, Head of SkyTeam Operations
    “The SkyTeam Lounge in Santiago is one of my personal favorites, so it is great news that even more customers can now enjoy the warm service and high-class food and amenities when flying from the airport.”  Jeffrey Stern, CEO Global Lounge Network
    Treats on offer in SkyTeam’s Santiago de Chile Lounge include:ADVERTISEMENTSips to savorChile is one of the world’s leading wine producers and SkyTeam is proud to offer a wide selection of local wines to enjoy in its Santiago Lounge. From the intense, ruby red Casa Silva Carmenere with aromas of black cherries and plums, to a chilled Reserva Emiliana Chardonnay with refreshing notes of citrus, customers can also toast their travels with a glass of Gemma or Azur fizz.
    A wide selection of soft drinks, juices, tea and coffee are also available.
    Memorable menusSkyTeam’s Lounge is the only one in Santiago International Airport to boast its very own empanada station, serving up fresh and authentic bites generously filled with spiced meat or cheese. Or why not sample some sopaipillas with pebre, a fried street food snack served with a tasty Chilean salsa.
    A self-service buffet balances local flavors with international tastes. Current highlights include Carne a la Cerveza con Puré Rústico – a delicious slow-braised beef cooked in beer, or a meat-free Pastel de Choclo Vegetariano.
    Time to celebrateSkyTeam’s Santiago Lounge opened in March 2022 as international travel restarted from the country but before COVID restrictions were fully lifted. To showcase the many highlights the Lounge has to offer, SkyTeam and Global Lounge Network welcomed customers, airline and airport stakeholders to a delayed ‘official opening event’ to celebrate the Lounge’s success to-date.
    Where to findSkyTeam’s Santiago Lounge – the global airline alliance’s first in Latin America – is situated on the first floor of the airport’s Terminal 2, Pier E, is open from three hours prior to the first flight until the last SkyTeam flight of the day departs. Santiago International Airport is served by five member airlines, including Aerolineas Argentinas, Air France, Delta Air Lines, and KLM.

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    Cathay Cargo Receives IATA’s CEIV Lithium Batteries Certification

    Cathay Cargo and the Cathay Cargo Terminal have received the IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators Lithium Batteries (CEIV Li-batt) certification. With this new accreditation, both Cathay Cargo and the Cathay Cargo Terminal each now hold the full set of CEIV certifications, joining CEIV Pharma, CEIV Fresh and CEIV Live Animals.
    CEIV Li-batt addresses an important issue for the air-cargo industry. The incorrect charging, handling and mislabelling of shipments containing lithium-ion batteries can endanger people and property, and has caused fires. This has become a bigger issue for the air-cargo industry as e-commerce continues to grow, increasing the incidence of undeclared or misdeclared shipments.
    The airline-specific CEIV Li-batt accreditation joins Cathay Cargo’s existing mitigations for lithium-ion battery shipments, which include a full range of fire containment bags (FCBs) and fire-resistant containers (FRCs). Cathay Cargo also operates its Cargo Agent Operation Programme and an additional indemnity scheme for mislabelled dangerous goods as the supply chain becomes more complex.
    The Cathay Cargo Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport has also independently achieved its own CEIV Li-batt accreditation for cargo terminal operators, ensuring customers’ shipments receive a safe and assured end-to-end experience, whether travelling to, from or through Hong Kong.
    Director Cargo Tom Owen said: “The safe carriage of lithium-ion batteries is a core focus of our cargo business and we have introduced a coherent and far-reaching series of safety protocols with our customers and operational teams to mitigate risks over the past few years. The CEIV Li-batt accreditation now achieved by both Cathay Cargo and the Cathay Cargo Terminal will give further confidence to our customers that we adhere to the highest standards of handling in the industry.”ADVERTISEMENTCEIV Li-batt formalises baseline standards to improve the competency and quality management in the handling and carriage of lithium-ion batteries across the logistics supply chain. The accreditation is also available to shippers, forwarders and cargo terminal operators. The entire programme is underpinned by the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) and the IATA Lithium Battery Shipping Regulations (LBSR), and adds training, assessment and validation that demonstrate compliance with these regulations.
    IATA Regional Vice President for North Asia Dr Xie Xingquan said: “The air cargo market for products containing lithium-ion batteries is experiencing significant growth. We congratulate Cathay Cargo and its cargo terminal operator, Cathay Cargo Terminal, on successfully achieving IATA’s CEIV Lithium Batteries Certification. This accomplishment by one of the world’s largest cargo operators and its partner, located in one of the busiest logistics hubs globally, is a significant boost for the aviation industry. Furthermore, it assures the customers of these organisations that they are adhering to the highest safety and security standards when transporting products containing lithium-ion batteries.”
    Cathay Cargo’s Owen added: “We will continue to innovate and optimise our processes around safe lithium-ion battery carriage. The work we are doing related to this will remain as the upmost priority for our operational teams.”

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    Global Airlines and American Express set for take-off with new partnership

    Global Airlines, the world’s newest long-haul airline, has announced a significant partnership with American Express, meaning high-spending Amex Cardmembers can book tickets and benefit from exclusive offers with the airline.Ahead of the first flight in 2024, American Express and Global will collaborate on bespoke offers for Amex Cardmembers on the inaugural services between London Gatwick and New York’s JFK. The agreement will also see a range of exclusive fly-drive offers, hotel stays, and restaurant bookings made available to Cardmembers.
    Global will commence operations with two transatlantic routes. Through the new partnership, American Express Cardmembers will be among the first to be able to purchase tickets across all three cabins onboard the Global Airlines A380 aircraft; First, Business and Economy. The airline is also determined to improve the way people travel when working and is seeking to attract business travellers to its newly designed and refurbished cabins.
    Commenting on the partnership, the CEO and Founder of Global Airlines, James Asquith said: “I’m delighted to announce our latest major partnership with one of the world’s leading brands. Teaming up with American Express to provide its Cardmembers with exclusive offers and promotions and the chance to join us on some of our very first flights, alongside delivering a best-in-class payments experience, is a really important step for the airline.
    “Both Global Airlines and Amex are united by a desire to offer the best possible customer service and experience, and I can’t wait to encourage as many of its Cardmembers as possible to go Global when flying transatlantic.”
    Dan Edelman, Vice President and General Manager, UK Merchant Services at American Express, said: “We’re committed to ensuring that Amex is accepted wherever our Cardmembers want to spend, so are delighted to bring them the opportunity to be among the first passengers on Global Airlines. With our long history in travel, this new partnership is hugely exciting for us.”ADVERTISEMENTPassengers booking to fly with Global will also be able to pay with American Express’ award-winning Pay with Bank Transfer solution, a simple, speedy and secure way for consumers to pay directly from their bank account.
    The announcement was made at the airlines “Welcome Onboard” event, held at Kettner’s, Soho House on Thursday night.
    Over 200 guests were in attendance, including representatives from national media, investors and aviation & brand partners.
    Laurent Perrier was served throughout, and, to bring to life the airline’s onboard service, all guests were given a luxury amenity kit featuring products from Margaret Dabbs, Waken, Murdock, Mermaid Vodka, and Longbottom.


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    Proposed night flight ban at Brussels airport should be scrapped

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) emphasized its opposition to a proposed ban on night flights at Brussels Zaventem airport. The proposal is premature as it ignores Belgium’s international obligations under the Balanced Approach to noise, including bilateral air service agreements and which is also enshrined in EU law.
    The Balanced Approach explicitly states that flight restrictions should be applied as a last resort, only after a detailed consultation and cost-benefit analysis, and when the noise benefits to be gained from other possible measures of the Balanced Approach have been exhausted.
    Moreover, any night flight ban at Brussels Zaventem airport would have a negative impact on the Belgian economy, and for air connectivity. Many of the flights that would be impacted by a night ban are cargo flights. Belgium is particularly strong in pharmaceutical exports which rely on air transport for rapid, time-and-temperature controlled shipment, in which Zaventem is a world-class leader. In terms of air connectivity, the airport facilitates a modest but important number of night flight connections. Among the routes that would be threatened by a ban are connections to Africa – one of the world’s fastest growing economic regions.
    “The noise concerns of the community around Brussels airport must be heard, but it is profoundly unfortunate that Minister Gilkinet has attempted to circumvent the Balanced Approach, which is the long-accepted and successful international process for managing airport noise impacts. The Balanced Approach specifically helps to mitigate noise while protecting the benefits of air connectivity for the economy and community both near the airport and across Belgium as a whole, not least in terms of thousands of jobs. It is vital that the government scrap this proposal and instead engage in a meaningful consultation with stakeholders,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.


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    Virgin Atlantic and Rolls-Royce today confirm the successful Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blend ground test on the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine. The test marks a key milestone in the project which will see the world’s first 100% SAF flight travel across the Atlantic from London Heathrow to New York JFK on a Boeing 787, set to take off on November 28, 2023.In addition to the test, fuel suppliers Air bp and Virent have been announced to supply the 60 tonnes of SAF to be used in the world first, supporting consortium research, testing and the flight itself. The SAF will be produced through the Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) pathway as well as synthetic aromatic kerosene (SAK) SAF at an 88% and 12% blend ratio.
    Virgin Atlantic is committed to finding more sustainable ways to fly on our mission to Net Zero 2050. Already operating one of the most fuel and carbon efficient fleets across the Atlantic, this flight builds on the airline’s 15-year track record for leading on SAF. Demonstrating that through radical collaboration, industry can deliver 100% SAF in today’s engine, airframes and fuel infrastructure for long haul flight.
    SAF typically delivers CO2 life cycle emissions savings of more than 70% whilst performing like traditional jet fuel. SAF has a fundamental role to play in aviation’s decarbonization and pathway to Net Zero 2050. Today, SAF represents less than 0.1% of jet fuel volumes and fuel standards allow for just a 50% SAF blend in commercial jet engines. The one-off Virgin Atlantic flight in November will demonstrate the potential of SAF as a 100% drop-in replacement for fossil fuel today.
    The realization of the 100% SAF transatlantic flight taking to the skies is a challenging task requiring cross industry collaboration and dedicated project teams working on the research, testing and operations to make it happen. The Virgin Atlantic led consortium, joint funded by the UK Department for Transport, includes Rolls Royce, Boeing, University of Sheffield, Imperial College London and Rocky Mountain Institute. The successful bench engine test is a key milestone, however further permissions and safety approvals are required for the flight to take off in November.
    Virgin Atlantic and the consortium will leverage the 100% SAF transatlantic flight to further SAF use, as well as addressing other environmental impacts of the sector. The project will demonstrate further reductions in CO2 from operational efficiencies, contribute to research and development into the non-CO2 effects of flying, and provide an end-to-end life cycle analysis of the flight. Any residual CO2 emissions from the flight will be mitigated using innovative carbon removals from biochar projects.ADVERTISEMENTShai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic, commented: “The 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel transatlantic flight will be a historic moment in aviation’s roadmap to decarbonization. Alongside fleet transformation, SAF is the most readily available way for our industry to decarbonize, but currently there’s not enough supply and without it and the radical collaboration required to produce it, we can’t meet our 2030 targets. We need UK government support to create a UK SAF industry to allow for every single flight out of the UK to operate with 100% SAF – if we make it, we can fly it.”
    Rob Watson, President – Civil Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, said: “We are incredibly proud that our Trent 1000 engines will power the first ever flight using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel across the Atlantic. Confirming that we have successfully completed the ground test of the Trent 1000 engine today, using the chosen 100% SAF blend, gives us increased confidence for the engine’s performance and operation ahead of the flight this November. The flight will represent an incredible milestone for the entire aviation industry in its journey towards net zero carbon emissions.”
    Aviation Minister, Baroness Vere of Norbiton, commented: “A year on from the launch of our Jet Zero Strategy, I’m delighted that Virgin Atlantic has confirmed the first ever transatlantic flight powered solely by Sustainable Aviation Fuel will take off this winter. Thanks to government funding, this flight will be a huge step towards net zero and showcase the potential of SAF – creating jobs and helping to grow our economy.”
    Andreea Moyes, Global Head of Sustainability, Air bp, said: “We are thrilled to be supplying Sustainable Aviation Fuel for the world’s first 100% SAF transatlantic flight. SAF is currently the most viable option to help us meet the industry’s net zero ambition and in the short and medium term it will be the only option for long-haul flights. Moving our industry and policy towards the use of 100% SAF is important as we work in collaboration with key stakeholders to help decarbonize aviation.”
    Dave Kettner, President & General Counsel, Virent said: “With Virent’s plant-based Synthesized Aromatic Kerosene (SAK) providing essential fuel components, this test showed that 100% drop-in renewable fuel is cleaner burning and will work seamlessly in today’s commercial airline engines. We’re honored to collaborate with Virgin Atlantic, Rolls-Royce and Air bp as these forward-looking companies lead the way in sustainable aviation. Virent shares their commitment to finding sustainable ways to fly, and we’re excited about the pivotal role our BioForm® SAK plays in making that goal a reality.”
    Sheila Remes, Vice President, Environmental Sustainability, Boeing said: “Boeing is proud to provide technical expertise and support for this testing as we gear-up for Virgin Atlantic’s flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner to make the first 100% SAF transatlantic flight. We look forward to continuing to work with our project partners on this journey, taking one more step towards a sustainable future of flight.”


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