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    The value of digitization

    Mehmet T. Nane, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Pegasus Airlines and Chair, IATA Board of Governors, believes technology benefits are wide ranging.
    From providing humanitarian flights and support from the very start of the February earthquake to the future digital strategy of the airline, Pegasus Airlines’ Chairperson of the Board of Directors Mehmet T. Nane says there are many challenges and opportunities ahead for Türkiye and Pegasus.
    Tell us how you helped following the devastating earthquake in February?
    We are experiencing challenging times as a country. The pain we felt in the aftermath of the earthquake catastrophe on February 6 is still fresh. I would like to again commemorate those who lost their lives—may they rest in peace—and wish a swift recovery to the injured. As a nation and as a company, we believe in the importance of solidarity to overcome these difficult days and to heal. Our primary task is to support those affected by the earthquake in the fastest and most effective way possible, and to sustain this support on a long-term basis.
    Pegasus Airlines worked diligently from day one of the earthquake. We operated domestic flights from Adana, Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Elazığ, Gaziantep, Malatya, Kahramanmaraş, Şanlıurfa and Hatay free of charge between February 7-28, 2023 for those affected by the earthquake. We started flying to Hatay on February 12 after the runway was repaired. Between February 6-28, we evacuated 152,950 people from the earthquake zones with 785 free evacuation flights. During these flights, we carried 110 tonnes of aid materials free of charge. We carried 126,926 people and rescue teams on flights to the disaster zone. As well as continuing our transportation support, we also supported citizens affected by the earthquake with financial aid.ADVERTISEMENTDuring this period, we also took the decision to support the Federation of Women’s Associations of Türkiye Purple Campus project. The Purple Campus project aims to improve the conditions of women, children, and people in need of geriatric care and disabled individuals in the earthquake zone, creating safe spaces by providing their most basic needs. Pegasus will also contribute air transport. I sincerely believe that as contributions to the Purple Campus project increase, we will make a difference to the lives of those affected by the earthquake.
    What are the main challenges and opportunities for aviation in Türkiye?
    Türkiye has historically been a prominent travel destination for travelers from Europe and Central Asia, including travelers from the Middle East in the past decade.
    Large numbers of visitors travel for sun, sand, and sea tourism, but we are seeing high growth rates in the health, educational, and cultural tourism segments. Türkiye will continue to attract these various types of visitors as the country offers good value for money as well as its unique natural, cultural, gastronomic, and historic attractions, for example.
    There is also a large Turkish population living in Europe who frequently travel to Türkiye to visit relatives and friends, which brings a certain resilience to overall inbound travel demand. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that Türkiye is at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, offering the best point for transit travelers who need to switch flights while travelling between the continents. So, opportunities are plentiful.
    The key challenge is the vulnerability of travel demand to such factors as a slowdown in economic activity, a decline in the disposable income levels of travelers, negative geopolitical developments, and any future pandemics.
    What advantages do you see in expanding so rapidly?
    Our operating region spans Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, and we see a significant growth potential both in the total market and in the demand for low-cost carriers.
    Our fleet and network investments are dedicated to stimulating diversified growth across these regions while focusing on contribution to the network value. We currently have the lowest unit cost in the world, and we have a sizeable fleet growth in the pipeline to over 120 aircraft in 2025 from 96 in 2022. When the deliveries are complete, we plan for our fleet to consist solely of next generation A320neo and A321neo aircraft, which will further support our efficiency. This will also contribute to our sustainability commitments and help us maintain our leading position in cost metrics.
    Has customer behavior changed since the pandemic or has the market simply picked up where we left off in 2020?
    The major difference we see post-pandemic is the booking window. The difference between booking and flight date has shortened since people are more likely to make last-minute bookings due to the ambiguity brought on by travel restrictions during pandemic. This previously periodic behavior has turned into a long-term shift. The business travel segment has been the slowest to recover.
    We’ve also seen a rapid shift to travelling with minimum contact. At Pegasus we’ve invested in unique innovations in this regard, and our guests can utilise our digital solutions for check-in, baggage drop and boarding processes with reduced contact. Turkish nationals on domestic flights can also check-in online before the flight and board without contact using their ID card with a chip at the gate.
    There’s also more emphasis on digital channels. One demographic that stands out when we talk about digital is, of course, Gen Z. This new generation of travelers looks for brands that offer tailored discounts and promotions, value for money products and services, and care about sustainability when making purchasing decisions. As such, as well as our overall digitalisation, we aim to tailor certain products for them such as our recent BolBol Youth, an extension of our loyalty program that targets 12-to-24-year-olds, offering them value-driven promotions and discounts.
    Can you tell us about your digitization strategy?
    At the start of 2022, we launched a new initiative to take our digitization journey to the next level. Our digital strategy for our guests is based on five pillars: improved digital experience, user experience, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization, and personalized digital experience.
    For an improved digital experience, we invest in products and tools that make every stage of the journey easier, better, and seamless. User experience is focusing on web and app redesign, and an app-like mobile website.
    We are also focusing on a personalized SEM and dynamic data usage.
    It is important to focus on sustainable traffic to our web and app. To do this we are creating content in different local languages, such as German and French, including an English blog and an Arabic language website. We also focus on continuous optimization of our customer journey and personalized booking funnels, targeted banners, and content.
    What criteria do you use to evaluate new technology?
    We conduct a cost-benefit analysis. On the value side, we score parameters including revenue, savings, company image, and regulation. On the cost side, we add the projected cost for the investment.
    Technology investments may not always reduce operational costs and we consider other factors when investing for the long-term growth and sustainability of the business. It is important that the guest has an easy and seamless travel experience and that we can offer low fares.
    Moreover, technology is an important factor in driving the sustainability of our industry as part of our commitment to net zero by 2050, and this is also a vital part of our decision-making process. Some of our projects may be in research and development where the benefits are longer term.
    It is also important to offer an easy work experience for Pegasus employees. We will continue to invest in these areas to utilize all the possibilities of technology.
    How can an airline take better advantage of the data it is producing?
    Airlines have an e-commerce structure, and a wide range of operational units, from ground handling to technical teams, from flight crews to safety. To offer a good travel experience, the entire operation needs to work in harmony. It is crucial to use generated data to analyze and evaluate. Utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) offers many value-added possibilities, such as using AI to determine the catering that will be loaded onto the aircraft and reduce waste.
    We benefit from the data generated in all projects involving providing low fares for guests and enhancing the entire travel experience.
    Can the industry achieve net zero by 2050? What will be the biggest challenge?
    Yes, the industry can achieve net zero by 2050. But we need urgent action to achieve this target.
    The industry’s main emission source is jet fuel. Projects to replace this with alternative energy sources, such as hydrogen, will provide us with the longer-term solution. But until they become commercially viable for industry-wide use, the industry’s focus will remain on sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
    The challenge is to get abundant SAF production that’s affordable. Today, there is simply not enough supply and the SAF available is several times more expensive than jet fuel. Governments should evaluate the value in the local production of SAF and create incentives for increased production and make it affordable for airlines. This will also boost domestic production and growth. Mandates and taxation alone—where the entire cost of aviation transformation is imposed on airlines and the proceeds of which are seldom used to support the industry’s net zero targets—are unlikely to help. 
    Does diversity make business sense?
    Promoting and fostering diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do no matter what, as it ensures equal opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds and fosters a sense of belonging and respect for everyone. But it also does make business sense. It can lead to better decision-making, increased innovation, and improved financial performance for companies. Companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion are likely to have a competitive advantage.
    Diverse teams are more likely to be better at problem-solving, decision-making, and adapting to change. They can also help to improve employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
    Has the experience as IATA Chair been a good one? In what areas has progress been made?
    It has been an honor to serve as IATA’s Chair of the Board, especially at a time when the industry was emerging from its worst downturn. It has certainly been a busy year and as we have continued to rebuild global connectivity at great pace, we have been addressing such priorities as sustainability, diversity, regulation, operational challenges, and infrastructure costs.
    Diversity and broadening IATA membership has been a strong focus and 2022 was a particularly important year as we achieved the milestone of 50% of IATA members joining the 25by2025 voluntary initiative, driving a more diverse and inclusive aviation industry particularly regarding female representation.
    We are witnessing real change. Last year alone at least five female CEOs have been appointed. As of April 2023, we have 19 female CEOs among 25by2025 signatories and 24 female CEOs among all IATA members.


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    Qatar Airways and Google Cloud to Collaborate on Data and AI

    Google Cloud and Qatar Airways have agreed to collaborate to set out the airline’s intention to explore leveraging Google Cloud’s data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to create superior customer experiences for its passengers.In 2022, Qatar Airways carried 18.5 million passengers across 150 destinations worldwide. This large volume of passengers drives an abundance of structured and unstructured data to the airline’s digital transformation unit. The proposed collaboration with Google Cloud is intended to help bring deeper meaning to Qatar Airways’ customer data through the power of Google’s data analytics, AI and machine learning (ML) solutions, including BigQuery and Vertex AI. This, in turn, will enable the airline to enhance the travel experience for passengers, providing them with offerings personalized to their individual needs, travel trends, and past travel history.
    Qatar Airways Chief Information Officer, Mr. A.T. Srinivasan, said, “Qatar Airways is a highly respected aviation leader which has always set benchmarks with its globally recognised and award-winning customer service. Google Cloud brings us the opportunity to build elasticity and scalability on demand, as we increasingly look to leverage both structured and unstructured data to personalise customer and employee experience. We will also leverage Google’s highly secure and diverse set of Cloud service offerings for optimising our airline and airport operations particularly in the areas of aircraft inventory, flight operations both on ground and in the air, as well as airport operations. We also look forward to collaborating with Google Cloud to try out some of their cutting-edge technology through this long-term partnership. The presence of a Cloud in Qatar gives us the assurance that our data stays in-country and we can focus on data and AI/ML led innovation without having to worry about data residency.”

    Ghassan Kosta, Qatar Country Manager, Google Cloud added: “Businesses today can make smart decisions in real time and provide personalized experiences to their customers through AI and machine learning     tools. Qatar Airways is not only an airline that takes passengers from point A to point B, but also it is a manifestation of Qatari hospitality. Through use of Google Cloud, Qatar Airways can enable passengers to enjoy elevated travel experiences, including personalized travel recommendations and suggestions as if they have a dedicated travel agent who understands their specific needs and requirements.”
    ADVERTISEMENTAdditionally, Qatar Airways and Google Cloud will explore further areas of collaboration, including using cloud tools to drive cost optimization, increase streamlined operations, and more. Sustainability is also a top priority in the airline’s digital transformation roadmap, and Qatar Airlines will explore using Google Cloud, the cleanest cloud in the industry, to implement new programs that will support Qatar Airways in fulfilling its sustainability goals by 2030.

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    WTTC Calls for Urgent Action on Sustainable Aviation Fuel

    The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has called on governments around the world to “get serious” on incentivizing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production and set ambitious targets to produce adequate quantities.
    Without meaningful quantities of SAF, the global tourism body says the aviation sector cannot decarbonise on a scale that will allow it to reach Net Zero by 2050, as committed to by the industry and supported by ICAO Member States.
    The aviation industry expects to reach net zero carbon emissions by
    •  Delivering the maximum reduction in emissions at source, through the use of SAF and innovative new propulsion technologies like hydrogen and electric •  Deploying modern fuel-efficient aircraft fleets•  Operational efficiency improvements (in air navigation, for example), and •  Out-of-sector solutions like offsetting or carbon capture.
    SAF is expected to deliver the majority of greenhouse gas abatements needed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Unfortunately, SAF production rates are insufficient to meet demand and prices remain high, despite the recent exponential increase in production.ADVERTISEMENTThe time for action is now. Without SAF, governments will struggle to meet their climate goals as set by the Paris Climate Agreement and their commitments to economic growth, which is heavily reliant on aviation for tourism, trade, and connectivity.
    To address this urgent issue, WTTC calls on governments to
    •  Provide strong incentives to encourage investment in SAF production, including tax credits, grants or other financial incentives •  Work with the sector to set ambitious SAF production targets•  Coordinate their actions through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the specialised UN agency for aviation, to ensure global uniformity in SAF regulations, sustainability standards, procedures, and organisation.
    An example of a successful incentive programme is in the United States. The recent Inflation Reduction Act which, through the Tax Blender Credit, created tax incentives for SAF production that are already bearing fruit.
    Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said “It is time for governments to take bold action and prioritise the production of sustainable aviation fuel. We are calling on all governments to act now.
    “The demand for SAF has never been higher, airlines all over the world want to use SAF and have used every molecule ever made. However, current SAF production only meets 0.1% to 0.15% of requirement, despite a 200% increase in production in 2022 vs 2021. This leaves a massive gap that can only be filled through rapid and sustained investment.
    “At today’s prices, SAF is on average three to five times more expensive than traditional fossil fuels. Governments must address this cost disparity by providing financial support and incentives to make SAF more accessible and affordable. Without those targets and without those incentives, the sector cannot decarbonise.
    “The G7 leaders have an opportunity to deliver critical leadership on this issue by following-up on the commitment of their Climate, Energy and Environment ministers to accelerate efforts to decarbonize the aviation industry, including through the promotion of SAF. Turning the words of a communique into concrete policies to scale up SAF production would give aviation’s decarbonization a critical boost.”
    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently launched a new policy aimed at accelerating SAF production, SAF Deployment. The policy calls for governments to take a leading role in facilitating the scale-up of SAF production. It also underscores the need for policies which are harmonized across countries and industries to provide a level playing field for the global civil aviation industry, while being technology and feedstock agnostic.
    The IATA paper draws attention to the need for policies to address both near-term and longer-term SAF deployment and provide the necessary certainty for producers and investors to allocate existing biofuel refinery capacity to SAF as well as to develop new infrastructure.
    WTTC in partnership with ICF has launched a white paper, demystifying the impact and benefits of SAF for tourism destinations around the world. The white paper, ‘Sustainable Aviation Fuels: The Implications & Opportunities for Tourism Destinations’, sets out three critical actions destinations are advised to undertake to address the challenge and embrace the opportunities of SAF.To read the report please visit

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    Emirates relaunches the Skywards Everyday app

    Emirates is taking its loyalty program experience to new heights with the relaunch of Skywards Everyday – an app that enables members to earn Skywards Miles all day, every day across dining, high street and luxury shopping, entertainment, beauty and wellness, groceries, and services.Start racking up Miles easily with Skywards Everyday and unlock rewards faster, such as Cash+Miles on flights, hotel stays, duty free shopping and money-can’t-buy-experiences.
    Three simple steps: Download, link and earn
    To start earning Miles, simply download the Skywards Everyday app from iOS App Store or Google Play Store and log-in using Emirates Skywards details.
    Link up to five Visa or Mastercard debit or credit cards* in the app.
    Earn Miles every time you pay with any linked payment card at over 200 Skywards Everyday partners in the UAE. Members earn 1 Mile for every AED 3 spent on high street shopping, leisure and entertainment, luxury shopping, beauty and wellness, services, and dining; and 1 Mile for every AED 5 spent on groceries and pharmacy. ADVERTISEMENTMembers who live outside the UAE can also download Skywards Everyday and earn Miles when they visit the country.
    Hundreds of partners across the UAE
    Members will be spoilt for choice with over 200 partners across the UAE. Explore, earn and get closer to your next reward. Participating brands include –
    ·  Shop till you drop: Dhamani 1969, Mont Blanc, TAG Heuer, Vilebrequin, Springfield, Bait Al Kandora, Borders, Natuzzi.
    ·  Dining and earn: CE LA VI, Café Bateel, Costa Coffee, Arabica, Tresind Dubai, Folly by Nick and Scott.
    ·  Entertainment for all:  Bounce, City Sightseeing, Padelae, The Arena Games, Dubai Dolphinarium.
    ·  Errands for the week: Al Maya, Champion Cleaners, Pet Corner, Saeedi Pro.
    ·  Stay healthy and earn: Barry’s Boot Camp, Bin Sina Pharmacy, Seven, BR Performance Studios, Holland and Barrett.
    ·  Indulge and relax: Belle Femme, Beauty Connection, Jacques Le Coupe Salons, Anantara Spa, Chaps and Co.

    Members can earn even more Miles with every purchase made when using their Emirates Skywards credit card. Stay tuned for more fantastic opportunities to earn bonus Miles with Visa while shopping at any participating brands in the next few weeks.
    Emirates Skywards has more than 30 million members worldwide. Members can earn Skywards Miles with partners ranging from airlines, hotels and car rentals to financial, leisure and lifestyle brands. Skywards Miles can be redeemed for an extensive range of rewards, including flight tickets on partner airlines, flight upgrades, hotel stays, tickets, hospitality at sporting and cultural events, tours and money-can’t-buy experiences.
    For more information, visit
    * Applies to all Visa card holders issued in worldwide; and MasterCard cardholders issued in the UAE, UK, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Qatar, Australia, Canada, Denmark and USA.
    *Terms and conditions apply

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    Three Wizz Air flights took off from Budapest Airport with 37% blend of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™produced from renewable waste and residue raw materials supplied by MOL
    MOL, in cooperation with Neste, Budapest Airport, RÜK (Airport Fuel Supply Kft.) and Wizz Air, today starts commercially testing its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply chain.
    The project supports broader efforts in the aviation industry to reduce CO2 emissions and aims to prepare the fuel supply system at Budapest Airport ahead of the EU SAF blending mandates, which will be introduced in 2025.
    On 10 May, Wizz Air took off from Budapest Airport for the first time using a blend of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ supplied by MOL. During the SAF test, Wizz Air’s three newest Airbus A321neo aircraft were fuelled with a total blend of 23.5 tonnes containing 37% pure SAF and 63% Jet A1 fuel. The aircraft carried passengers from Budapest to Paris and several other European destinations.
    With these flights MOL, as the fuel supplier to Budapest Airport, and Wizz Air, Europe’s fastest growing and most sustainable airline globally*, have taken another step to reduce the environmental footprint of transportation fuels. The SAF is produced by Finnish company Neste from used cooking oil and animal fat waste. Using SAF reduces carbon emissions by up to 80% over the fuel’s life cycle compared to using fossil jet fuel.ADVERTISEMENTCsaba Zsótér, senior vice president of the MOL Group’s Downstream Fuels, said: “Our strategic goal is to kick-start Hungary’s circular economy and make our operations carbon neutral by 2050. We are constantly testing new technologies and developing our products to strengthen the region’s security of supply with low-carbon fuels and accelerate the green transition.  So far, we have mainly taken steps in road transport fuels. At the Danube Refinery, for example, we have been co-processing vegetable oils, used cooking oils and animal fats with fossil components since 2021 to produce more sustainable diesel. We are now moving into a new area, working with our partners to gain experience in aviation fuels to make aviation more sustainable. I am confident that the first SAF shipment, which is now being launched as a commercial test, will be followed by many more.”
    In the Danube Refinery, bio-based materials – vegetable oils, used cooking oils and animal fats – have been processed together with fossil components during fuel production, in order to produce more sustainable diesel since 2021. The recycling of waste is also supported. Since 2011, used cooking oil can be handed in at MOL filling stations.
    Wizz Air leads the industry by example and operates with the lowest carbon emissions per passenger/km against all competitor airlines. To achieve this, the airline has invested heavily in its fleet by adding new and replacing older aircraft with the Airbus A321neo aircraft. The Airbus A321neo aircraft incorporates the latest technology, offering significant environmental benefits and can currently fly with up to 50% SAF blend.
    Yvonne Moynihan, Corporate and ESG Officer at Wizz Air, said: “Today’s SAF test, which is ahead of the legislative mandates coming in 2025, demonstrates that industry collaboration is one of the most impactful ways to address the current climate challenge. While Wizz Air is already leading in sustainability with one of the world’s youngest aircraft fleets and highly efficient operations, the SAF initiative at Budapest Airport is a testament to our broader strategy, with alternative fuels playing a significant role. This marks further progress against our commitment to reduce our carbon intensity by 25% by 2030 and shows we remain laser focused on technology and innovation.”
    “It is a forward-looking, highly innovative, and long-awaited moment to see an aircraft being filled with sustainable aviation fuel here at Ferenc Liszt International Airport. Hundreds of thousands of litres of kerosene are consumed every day at Budapest Airport, and we would very much like to see an increasing proportion of sustainable aviation fuel being used to service flights as soon as possible,” said CEO of Budapest Airport, Chris Dinsdale said. He added: “Budapest Airport is doing a lot to make the airport as sustainable as possible, and we have reduced our direct emissions from operations by 65% in ten years. It is a key priority to achieve net zero emissions by 2035 at the latest, 15 years earlier than our previous commitment. However, in order to make the whole industry more sustainable and to further reduce emissions from aviation, the use of SAF is vital.”
    *According to the CAPA – Centre for Aviation Awards for Excellence 2022

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    Boeing Expands ecoDemonstrator Flight Testing with ‘Explorer’ Airplanes

    Boeing is expanding its ecoDemonstrator program to include “Explorer” platforms that will focus on short-term testing of a specific technology. The first Boeing ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, will participate in an operational efficiency exercise in June 2023.
    Boeing is expanding its ecoDemonstrator flight-test program to further accelerate innovation for sustainability and safety. The company today announced its 2023 plan to assess 19 technologies on the Boeing 777 ecoDemonstrator, while also adding “Explorer” airplanes that will focus tests on specific technologies.
    The first ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a 787-10 Dreamliner, will conduct flight tests in June from Seattle to Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkok to demonstrate how coordinating navigation across global airspace jurisdictions can improve operational efficiency, which can reduce an airplane’s fuel use and emissions by up to 10%. Utilizing today’s onboard capabilities, Boeing and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) in the U.S., Japan, Singapore and Thailand will collectively sequence the airplane’s routes to achieve the optimal flight path across multiple regions, factoring in conditions such as weather, air traffic and airspace closures. The airplane will fly on the highest available blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at each location.
    “To support our industry’s goal for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Boeing is expanding our ecoDemonstrator program with Explorer airplanes to test even more sustainability-focused technologies,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We continue to invest in innovation that reduces fuel use, emissions and noise on our products and to partner with governments and industry to make progress on sustainability during each phase of flight.”
    “The industry will need continued fleet renewal, efficiency gains, renewable energy carriers such as sustainable aviation fuel and advanced technology to meet the civil aviation industry’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2050,” said Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond. “Our initial Explorer testing in partnership with aviation stakeholders in four countries is a great example of how we can work together to optimize operational efficiency and reduce emissions.”
    In 2023, Boeing also will use its current flagship ecoDemonstrator airplane, a 777-200ER (Extended Range), to test 19 technologies including:ADVERTISEMENTSustainable wall panels in the cargo hold that are made of 40% recycled carbon fiber and 60% resin made from a bio-based feedstockA fiber optic fuel quantity sensor compatible with 100% SAFAn Electronic Flight Bag application featuring Smart Airport Maps, a component of Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro, which reduces operational costs and supports safe taxi operations with the depiction of contextual airport dataFor all flight tests, the airplane will fly on the highest available blend of SAF locallySince its initial flights in 2012, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program has accelerated innovation by taking new technologies out of the lab and testing them in an operational environment. Including the 2023 plan, the program will have tested about 250 technologies to help decarbonize aviation, improve operational efficiency and enhance safety and the passenger experience. Approximately a third of tested technologies have progressed onto Boeing’s products and services.
    More information about the 2023 ecoDemonstrator and previous ecoDemonstrator airplanes is available at Boeing’s sustainability commitments, partnerships and efforts are available at

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    Wizz Air invests £5 million in sustainable aviation fuel company, Firefly, to reduce CO2 emissions

    Wizz Air, Europe’s fastest growing and most environmentally sustainable airline globally**, today announces a £5 million investment in a biofuel company, Firefly.
    This is Wizz Air’s first equity investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) research and development. The partnership with Firefly will allow the airline to supply SAF to its UK operations from 2028, up to 525,000 tonnes over 15 years. The agreement has the potential to save 1.5 million tonnes of CO2-eq.
    Firefly specialises in a process, which converts sewage sludge, a low-value waste product available in large quantities, into SAF. More than 57 million tonnes of sewage sludge are produced in the UK each year, with the potential to produce 250,000 tonnes of SAF.
    Firefly’s SAF, which will be independently certified against the leading sustainability standard RSB, is projected to deliver a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil jet fuel on a life cycle basis***. Firefly aims to have its first commercial plant operating within the next 5 years****.
    The agreement with Firefly and investment in new SAF technology represents the latest milestone in Wizz Air’s broader sustainability strategy, including its ambitious fleet renewal plan and already efficient low-cost operations with the latest technology aircraft and high seat density and load factors. This will further strengthen Wizz Air’s position as an industry leader in sustainability and drive its commitment to reducing its carbon emissions per passenger/km by 25% by 2030.ADVERTISEMENTIn 2022, Wizz Air achieved its lowest-ever annual carbon intensity which amounted to 55.2 grams per passenger/km, representing a 15% reduction year-on-year. To achieve this, the airline has invested heavily in its fleet by adding new and replacing older aircraft with the Airbus A321neo aircraft. The Airbus A321neo aircraft incorporates the latest technology, offering significant environmental benefits and can currently fly with up to 50% SAF blend. The share of the new “neo” technology Airbus A320 family aircraft has already surpassed 50% of Wizz Air’s fleet. In addition to its ambitious fleet renewal programme, Wizz Air is constantly working on fuel efficiency initiatives and improving its data analytics.
    Michael Berlouis, Head of Strategic Projects at Wizz Air, said: “In addition to fleet renewal and operational efficiency, SAF is crucial for reducing carbon emissions from aviation. However, feedstock availability remains the key challenge for the industry. Our investment in Firefly and its sewage sludge SAF technology is a major step forward for Wizz Air in securing its long-term ability to provide low-cost fares to its customers in an ever more environmentally sustainable way. From 2028, we are aiming to procure 525,000 tonnes of SAF from Firefly over a period of 15 years. This has the potential to reduce our emissions by 100,000 tonnes CO2-eq per year, which is equal to the emissions of over 12,000 return Wizz Air flights between London and Budapest”.
    James Hygate, CEO of Firefly Green Fuels, said: “We are thrilled to be establishing a partnership with Wizz Air. The investment will accelerate the commercialisation of our game-changing Firefly process, with the binding offtake agreement saving a staggering 1.5m tonnes of carbon emissions. Firefly will facilitate a step change towards the future of air travel. The feedstock, sewage sludge, is available in vast quantities globally and with Firefly we can put it to a truly beneficial use, reducing the use of fossil fuels in the hardest to decarbonise areas.”
    * Тhe saving is based on the IATA carbon emission factor, where 1kg of Jet fuel translates into 3.16 kg of CO2.** According to the CAPA – Centre for Aviation Awards for Excellence 2022*** Based on independent calculations by Cranfield University**** SAF must be blended with conventional jet fuel to meet regulatory requirements for use within the aircraft.

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    Thailand’s flag carrier Thai Airways expands distribution agreement with Sabre

    Sabre Corporation a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, today announced a renewed distribution agreement with Thai Airways
    The flag carrier will also be using Sabre’s robust data combined with its consultancy services to help it accelerate recovery.
    The Global Distribution System (GDS) renewal ensures that Sabre-connected travel agencies will continue to have access to Thai Airway’s content globally, while enabling the airline to retain its reach across Sabre’s valuable network of global travel buyers and intermediaries. Meanwhile, Thai Airways will also be taking advantage of Sabre’s extensive global booking data to help it identify recovery and growth opportunities.
    “As we continue to ramp up operations and resume international flights, it is essential to us that we are able to continue to distribute our fares, offers and itinerary to travel agents, and their customers, across the world,” said Mr. Korakot Chatasinga, Chief Commercial Officer, Thai Airways. “We’re thrilled to have renewed our distribution deal with Sabre at the same time as being able to harness the power of Sabre’s robust booking data and industry expertise.”
    Primarily operating from Suvarnabhumi Airport as well as its secondary hub in Phuket, Thai Airways typically serves around 40 international destinations, and is a founding member of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest global airline alliance. It has so far resumed a significant proportion of its pre-pandemic international flights and is forging ahead with further recovery and growth plans. With Thailand surpassing its tourist number targets last year, and expecting further recovery, particularly from the Chinese travel market, Thai Airways is poised to play an important role in future industry growth.  ADVERTISEMENT“We’re delighted that Sabre will continue to be a key part of Thai Airways’ journey as the carrier, and the country, continue to experience strong travel demand,” said Rakesh Narayanan, Vice President, Regional General Manager, Asia Pacific, Travel Solutions Airline Sales. “Our booking data includes detailed insights on itinerary, origin, connection, passenger type, length of stay and other booking patterns. However, it’s important not just to have access to such data, but to be able to interpret and make the best use of it to support an airline’s business strategy and growth. Sabre will be providing consulting services to help identify areas of potential opportunity for Thai Airways to increase efficiencies and enhance future revenue.”