To showcase the sustainable solutions available to it today, Delta participated in the SkyTeam Alliance’s Sustainable Flight Challenge – an initiative where partner airlines share learnings and innovations with the common goal of reducing the industry’s carbon footprint.
“Innovating through partnership is the fastest way for our industry to begin immediately lowering our emissions,” said Pam Fletcher, Delta’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “This flight challenge gives us the opportunity to collaborate with our partners on the solutions available today while accelerating the technologies of tomorrow.”
On the Plane
Delta is taking pivotal steps available today to lower its carbon footprint, which will be spotlighted on the flight.
The airline’s most fuel-efficient aircraft in-service today, the 737-900ER, took off powered by a fuel blend that included 400 gallons of sustainable aviation fuel– marking a record for the largest amount of SAF used on a flight out of Atlanta. Supplied through Delta’s partnership with Gevo, SAF reduces the lifecycle emissions of greenhouse gases up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuels.
Specific features of the aircraft, including new landing gear tires that reduce plane weight by 100 pounds and winglets that reduce drag, increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
The aircraft’s journey was bookended by 100% electric ground service equipment (eGSE) in both Atlanta and Salt Lake City with the battery-powered tractors and carts that loaded baggage and fuel. Delta has invested to achieve a 25% eGSE fleet by the end of 2022 and 50% by the end of 2025. As of April 2022, almost 20% of the fleet is electric.
In the Sky
Our north star vision of zero-impact aviation requires us to look holistically at the impact of our operations, and as part of that, we are focused on reducing waste and contributing to a more sustainable aviation industry.
This included getting soft pillows and blankets made from recycled plastic bottles. The new products, which launched onboard this year, will reduce single-use plastic waste by nearly 4.9 million pounds annually. Customers also received Delta’s new premium and eco-conscious amenity kits, which eliminates five single-use plastic items per kit. These kits were created in partnership with Someone Somewhere, a Certified B Corporation that combines Mexican traditional handcrafts with innovative products. Delta’s partnership with the brand has created jobs for more than 250 people in five of Mexico’s most vulnerable states.
Customers seated in First Class also selected from an array of more sustainable menu offerings, such as meat sourced from ranches that practice regenerative land management and locally grown vegetables. First Class customers also chose their meals before boarding, allowing Delta to ensure no food was wasted. All customers were offered gourmet snacks served in recyclable packaging.
Additionally, customer service was reinvented with no disposable plastic, all beverage packaging was recycled, and all food scraps and service were composted in Salt Lake City. This flight was a zero-waste flight, with the exception of safety, health and hygiene items that may be single-use.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements made in this release that are not historical facts, including statements regarding our estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections, goals, aspirations, commitments or strategies for the future, should be considered “forward-looking statements” under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are not guarantees or promised outcomes and should not be construed as such. All forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections, goals, aspirations, commitments and strategies reflected in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. Caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements, which represent our views only as of the date of this release, and which we undertake no obligation to update except to the extent required by law.