VistaJet commits to a greener industry
Updated: Mar 25, 2021
For decades, a single formula has summed up the global sustainability challenge: a growing world economy will result in increased carbon emissions.
This applies in Business aviation as it does in almost all other industries. The European air transport sector has grown steadily since the early 1990s, with subsequent growth of its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) as a result. However, the industry’s efforts have led to efficiency improvements and the industry is getting closer to decoupling growth and emissions.
But as the environmental spotlight on Business aviation intensifies, it is becoming increasingly important to definitively break this link. Addressing this problem may require an industry-wide effort on a scale never seen before, however, there are many signs that progress is being made.
Last year one of the world’s most prominent operators and EBAA Ambassador, VistaJet released an eight-point sustainability strategy that includes initiatives such as offsetting, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), AI-powered flight planning, and electric ground transport.
The point of departure is carbon offsetting. VistaJet states that 80% of its members have opted to compensate for their fuel use-related emissions with the result that the company has offset almost 100,000 tons of CO2 on behalf of its customers. That’s the equivalent to over 21,600 passenger vehicles driven for one year or over 12.7 billion smartphones charged. Additionally, through EU ETS, VistaJet will offset emissions of all intra-European flights by April 2021, which between January to August 2020 totals 21,500 tCO2.
The emphasis on off-setting is indeed unlikely to impress many environmentalists, who criticise the practice as a license to pollute that distracts from the real challenge of lowering emissions. However, VistaJet only selects offsetting projects that meet globally recognised standards.
Another part of their plan is SAF. In its neat form, SAF can reduce carbon emissions by up to 85% compared to conventional jet fuel. VistaJet is partnering with SkyNRG to secure SAF availability for its customers globally from World Energy’s refinery — supporting fast sustainable fuel adoption.
Other measures to reduce its carbon footprint include using a shared aircraft fleet model, (more hours flown per model means that fewer aircraft need to be produced), global infrastructure with fewer repositioning flights, and removing 90% of single-use items across its fleet. They also developed a comprehensive program to automate flight optimisation and global fleet management, and a commitment to partner with carbon-neutral companies wherever possible.
All and all it’s an impressive series of measures, that matches VistaJet’s commitment to “make aviation better.” As VistaJet Founder and Chairman Thomas Flohr points out: “Today, this means changing the way we operate, to benefit not only our customers but the whole global community. In this spirit, I hope our private aviation partners and peers will do the same, working collaboratively to bring change faster, as this is the only way for the fragmented industry to take full responsibility for the long-term health of the planet. In addition to adhering to market-based measures and improving existing infrastructure, enhancing operational procedures and developing new technological innovations is crucial. We are positive about the future, and we believe together we can transform business aviation for the long-term good.”
Vistajet is not only a member of the EBAA but also an EBAA Ambassador. The company contributes to the wider EBAA mission to enable responsible, sustainable growth for Business aviation, enhancing connectivity and creating opportunities. They are a Business aviation company founded in 2004 by Thomas Flohr. The firm flies between any two points, under a "pay for hours flown" fare structure. Its fleet consists of 73 privately-owned, mid-to-large-cabin, ultra-long-range Bombardier Global and Challenger business jets.