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Norwegian Brings SAF to Aalborg to Meet Denmark’s Climate Goal

Norwegian is taking a major step towards reducing the climate impact of aviation in Denmark. The airline will purchase fossil-free sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to power the equivalent of 100 flights between Aalborg and Copenhagen. This is the country’s busiest domestic route.

Niels Hemmingsen, Managing Director at Aalborg Airport, Geir Karlsen, CEO at Norwegian, and Lasse Frimand Jensen, Mayor of Aalborg Municipality (from left to right) inspected the fueling of the aircraft.

There are limitations in current aircraft technology. At present, they can only handle a blend of 50 percent fossil-free SAF and conventional aviation fuels. To overcome this challenge, Norwegian will have the fuel delivered to Aalborg Airport. This means the airline can introduce fossil-free aviation fuel on this important route.

This initiative aligns with the Danish government’s climate policy. Denmark aims to have at least one “green domestic route” in the country by 2025. It also aligns with Norwegian’s ambition to reduce emissions by 45 percent before 2030. The airline has recently partnered with Norsk e-Fuel to build the world’s first full-scale electro-fuel plant. It is part of Norwegian’s commitment to sustainability.

Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian, took part in the opening event at Aalborg Airport. Source: Norwegian

SAF-powered Flights in Denmark, Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian Explains

“There has long been a focus on how domestic aviation in Denmark can make use of more sustainable aviation fuel, both in the short and long term. Our initiative to fly the equivalent of 100 fossil-free flights within Denmark is a strong demonstration that this is possible within the existing infrastructure today. However, in order to make fossil-free flights common practice by 2025, the availability of fossil-free aviation fuel needs to increase drastically from the limited amounts of fuel available today,” says Karlsen.

Norwegian SAF Supports Denmark’s Sustainability Initiatives

Norwegian SAF Denmark
Geir Karlsen, CEO at Norwegian, and Niels Hemmingsen, Managing Director at Aalborg Airport (from left to right) met during the opening event at Aalborg Airport. Source: Norwegian

Aalborg Airport will receive its first shipment of fossil-free fuel from DCC & Shell Aviation Denmark. This delivery will supply approximately 100 flights, reducing around 140 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Over the next two weeks, fossil-free fuel will lead to an impressive 80% decrease in carbon emissions. The fuel will power flights between Aalborg and Copenhagen operated by Norwegian Airlines.

On an annual basis, Norwegian Airlines operates around 2,200 flights on this route. These flights consume approximately 3,000 metric tons of aviation fuel. If fossil-free SAF supplied all flights throughout the year, it would reduce carbon emissions by almost 10,000 metric tons. This significant reduction demonstrates the positive impact of using sustainable fuel alternatives in the aviation industry.

“Aalborg Airport is pleased that Norwegian has chosen us as a partner for this initiative. Sustainable aviation fuel is the future of all aviation. As an airport, we assist with the infrastructure of this project. We expect that it can contribute to Denmark’s first green domestic route also being set up from Aalborg Airport in 2025,” says Niels Hemmingsen, Managing Director at Aalborg Airport.

Fossil-free sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) – this is how it works

Norwegian SAF comes to Denmark

Fossil-free aviation fuels are also called Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). These fuels are a more sustainable alternative to fossil-based jet fuel. SAF is produced from biowaste and residual products. They include used cooking oil and animal fat. In the future, PtX-based SAF (Power-to-X) technology will produce larger quantities of SAF more sustainably. This technology converts electricity from solar and wind power into liquid forms of energy.

DCC & Shell Aviation Denmark delivers approximately 140 metric tons of fossil-free fuel. The supplier blends SAF with conventional jet fuel, following current SAF blending rules. Aalborg airport’s central fuel infrastructure then stores the fossil-free jet fuel to supply all aircraft using the airport’s fuel services.

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