The newest Airbus A321 in Delta Air Lines’ fleet took its initial flight on Friday (12 July) and was a completely carbon-neutral – a first for Delta – as it continues to make strategic moves to bolster its ongoing sustainability commitments.
Delta has partnered with Air BP to supply biofuels for an initial 20 delivery flights from the Airbus final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama, which are manufactured and refined via sustainable sources and processes.
The first flight departed Alabama for a facility in Kansas City where final induction work will be performed before the aircraft moves into service for Delta’s customers across its extensive domestic route network.
“Today’s carbon-neutral delivery flight is a milestone on Delta’s sustainability journey as we work to cut carbon emissions in half by 2050,” said Alison Lathrop, Delta’s managing director – global environment, sustainability and compliance.
“We are excited to partner with Air BP and Airbus to power these delivery flights with biofuels and carbon offsets, and will explore opportunities to bring this level of sustainability to all delivery flights going forward.”
Since 2005, the airline said it has reduced its jet fuel consumption, leading to an 11 per cent decrease in emissions as it works toward its long-term goal of achieving carbon-neutral growth and reducing carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2050.
Delta was the first and only U.S. airline to voluntarily cap carbon emissions at 2012 levels by purchasing carbon offsets ahead of the ICAO CORSIA implementation, which caps international emissions at 2019/2020 levels.
Delta is also the first US airline to recycle aluminum cans, plastic bottles and cups, and newspapers and magazines from aircraft, accounting for the recycling of more than three million pounds of aluminum from onboard waste. The carrier is also removing a variety of single-use plastic items such as stir sticks, wrappers, utensils and straws from its aircraft.