Biofuels and emission-free engines: Iberia’s sustainable future

Madrid, May 18 (EFE).- Iberia President Javier Sanchez-Prieto says the Spanish airline’s strategy regarding the green transition is based on the current renewal of its fleet, the use of “biofuels” in the medium term, and the implementation of engines powered by fuels that “do not emit CO2” into the atmosphere.

In this “long road” towards a neutral carbon footprint by 2050 in a sector responsible for 2.4 percent of global CO2 emissions, Prieto stressed the huge investments undertaken by the Spanish company to modernize its fleet in search of greater efficiency.

“Since 2013, Iberia has incorporated 40 new aircraft that have a technology capable of emitting less CO2 into the atmosphere,” with a total reduction of “15 percent for the smallest airplanes” and up to 35 percent in the largest, he said.

In November, Iberia made the first flight in Spain (Madrid-Bilbao IB 426) that used biofuel produced from the recovery of refinery waste in collaboration with the Madrid-based Spanish energy and petrochemical company Repsol S.A.

The adaptation of these more sustainable fuels to aviation is, Sanchez-Prieto said, “relatively simple” although, in his opinion, the industry must guarantee production in “large quantities” and at an “appropriate cost” to favor its constant implementation in the medium term.

With these solutions to lead sustainable mobility in air transport in Spain, Iberia will present itself at the Global Mobility Call (GMC) conference, to be held at IFEMA Madrid, from June 14 to 16, and will bring together major business and institutional leaders from the industry.

This international meeting point is a “good beginning” to discuss and reach a consensus on issues such as “post-pandemic recovery” or the transition to more environmentally friendly transport, Iberia’s president said.

He also pointed out a “robust demand” for travel for the summer season, during which he expects an 85 percent increase in the number of passengers compared to the levels prior to the 2019 health crisis while expecting a full recovery of tourist activity at the beginning of 2023.

In June, Iberia will open two new routes with four weekly flights to the cities of Washington and Dallas, with which they hope to counteract other destinations that remain inoperative, such as Japan or the existing limitations on travel to China.

In terms of global mobility, the Spanish businessman has focused both on intermodality and on the development of more efficient ‘hubs’ and, along this line, he described the T4 terminal at the Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas airport as a “magnificent platform” for passenger traffic and the connection between Europe and Latin America.

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