Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on May 19 announced the successful operation of the first domestic flight by AIX Connect – formerly known as AirAsia India – using India-produced sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The Delhi-bound flight i5-767 took off from Pune and was received at the airport by the minister.
On the success, Puri said, “Today, I received crew and passengers who took the first commercial passenger flight from Pune to Delhi powered by indigenously produced sustainable aviation fuel. We have started with 1% blending of SAF in one flight, which will be taken to 1% in all flights by mid-2025.”
The union minister also tweeted the pictures of the achievement. “Historic step making aviation fuel from ethanol taking #FarmtoFlight! India takes a positive step towards a green & sustainable future under visionary leadership of PM Sh@narendramodi Ji. Proud to launch India’s first domestic commercial flight on indigenous feedstock & SAF!” he said.
The SAF is a milestone in the decarbonisation of the aviation sector. The fuel was supplied by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) in partnership with Praj Industries Ltd. (Praj) using captive agricultural feedstock.
The efforts to make aviation more environment friendly are in tune with Atmanirbhar Bharat and India’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2070, said the minister. On May 4, full-service airline Vistara became the first Indian carrier to operate a commercial domestic flight on a wide-body aircraft (Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner) using a blend of 17 percent SAF with 83 percent conventional jet fuel. The aircraft was flown from Delhi to Mumbai.