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Is India soaring towards cleaner skies, as a leader in the sustainable aviation fuel segment? Case in Point

First commercial passenger flight in India, powered by a blend of Indigenously produced Sustainable Aviation Fuel takes wing. Air Asia India, Praj and IOCL collaborate to create history.

In a remarkable feat, India’s maiden commercial passenger flight using a blend of indigenously produced SAF (Sustainable, Aviation Fuel) soared high from Pune to Delhi on the 19th of May 2023. This marked a significant development in the decarbonisation of the aviation sector. The Indian Oil corporation (IOCL) in partnership with Praj Industries, supplied the blend of SAF to the Air Asia flight i5-767 The Hon. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Purl, was personally present to receive this special flight at the New Delhi airport.

This epitomized the spirit of a selfreliant India, and was in keeping with the country’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan mission. Ably concluded with the collaboration of IOCL, Air Asia India and Praj, these efforts steered towards developing sustainable aviation with the guidance and support of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Civil Avaition. This historic initiative paved the way for indigenous solutions to mitigate the environmental impact of aviation in India and also encourage widespread adoption of SAF. Pune based Praj Industries used captive agriculture feedstock to produce the SAF. Praj Industries sourced the SAF for this initiative in partnership with Gevo Inc. The R & D facilities at Praj, Praj Matrix, were used to produce the SAF samples , After detailed testing undertaken at the IOCL Laboratories, it was then blended for this historic Air Asia Pune Delhi flight. Mr Puri, described this as a landmark event in India’s efforts towards Net zero emissions by 2070. He congratulated the three home grown leading companies in their respective industries on this achievement. Dr. Pramod Chaudhari, Founder Chairman, Praj Industries commenting on this historic occasion reiterated that exemplary capability of using locally produced SAF for flying, was indeed a significant moment for India. He ment ioned how t h i s demonstrated the importance of the farming community from “Annadata to Urjadata” adding a fillip to India’s progress towards green growth and energy independence.

Mr. Aloke Singh, Managing Director, AirAsia India and Air India Express, mentioned how proud they were to announce the completion of this first Air Asia commercial flight powered by a blend of sustainable aviation fuel. As a subsidiary of Air India and being a part of the Tata group, they were committed to the spirit of innovation and mitigation of environmental impact. Mr. Vaidya, Chairman, Indian Oil, expressed Indian Oil’s commitment towards a greener tomorrow. As the largest PSU Indian Oil he said is leading the change in the oil and gas sector towards creating a sustainable and green environment. IOCL’s pledge for Net Zero Emissions by the year 2046 was in alignment with the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister. He was confident that SAF would fast become a widely accepted norm rather than just an exception. Global aviation accounts for about 3% of total global GHG emissions. However, if left unchecked, it could be responsible for 22% of GHG emissions by 2050. SAF can result in high greenhouse gas (GHG) savings by emerging as a successful alternative to the current use of fossil fuels.

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