Kenya’s national carrier, has earned two awards, ‘Best Innovation’ and ‘Most Impactful Breakthrough,’ for its pioneering use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on long-haul flights from Africa to Europe.
The accolades were presented at the 2023 Sustainable Flight Challenge Awards ceremony held at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on October 3, 2023. The achievement follows Kenya Airways’ successful participation in the Sustainable Flight Challenge 2023, an initiative organized by the SkyTeam Alliance that brought together 22 airlines, including SkyTeam members and select ‘friends and family’ airlines, to compete in promoting sustainable aviation practices. During the challenge, Kenya Airways operated a groundbreaking long-haul flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam, becoming the first African airline to employ Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for such a journey.
Allan Kilavuka, Group Managing Director and CEO of Kenya Airways, expressed his pride in receiving the awards, stating, “The ‘Best Innovation’ award marks the beginning of our commitment to pioneering sustainable aviation practices and driving positive change within our industry. This is a collective win for all KQ employees, our valued stakeholders, and the planet we serve. It inspires us to continue our journey towards a more environmentally responsible aviation industry.”
The Sustainable Flight Challenge 2023 saw the collective operation of 72 flights by participating airlines, generating over 350 innovative ideas aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of air travel. Notably, this year’s challenge resulted in an average 19% reduction in CO2 intensity compared to similar flights conducted the previous month. These innovative solutions have the potential to drive positive change throughout the aviation industry.
Patrick Roux, CEO of SkyTeam Alliance, praised Kenya Airways for its remarkable achievement in spearheading sustainable aviation practices. He emphasized that this accomplishment represents a significant advancement in environmental initiatives within the aviation sector and underscores Kenya Airways’ dedication to a more sustainable and eco-friendly future. He also expressed excitement about the innovative solutions and approaches generated by participating airlines, which have the potential to reshape the industry.
Among the other notable award winners at the ceremony were KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, recognized for their impressive adoption of sustainable solutions; Air France, acknowledged for their outstanding collaboration through the OLGA (Holistic Green Airport) project; and China Eastern, commended for their substantial reduction in emissions through increased payload fractions.