Airline group TUI plans sustainable fuel strategy as it takes delivery of first biofuel-powered Boeing 737 MAX
TUI Boeing 737 MAX 8 (photo: TUI Group)
Mon 5 Mar 2018 – Holiday airline group TUI has taken delivery of a new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft that was powered by a 30 per cent biofuel blend on its flight from the manufacturer in Seattle to Stockholm, where it joins TUI Nordic. This is the second MAX 8 to join the TUI fleet, the first delivered a month ago to TUI Belgium in Brussels, and form the initial deliveries of a large fleet renewal, with a total of 72 737 MAX 8 and MAX 10 aircraft to be added across the group by 2023. TUI says a more sustainable approach to aviation is an important part of its long-term strategy and aims to operate Europe’s most carbon efficient airlines and reduce the carbon intensity of its operations by a further 10 per cent by 2020. The group, which includes six airlines with around 150 modern medium and long-haul aircraft, is in the process of developing a sustainable alternative fuel development plan.
“We are committed to collaborating on projects and partnerships that help scale up sustainable aviation fuels. Seeing the Nordic countries are at the forefront of sustainable development, it is very fitting that our very first MAX flight on biojet fuel touched ground here,” said David Burling, Member of the TUI Group Executive Board, responsible for airlines, and Alex Huber, Managing Director of TUI Nordic, in a joint statement. They said TUI was currently looking at biofuel suppliers in the Nordic region as well as in Europe.
“Biofuel represents a significant opportunity for reducing aviation’s carbon footprint and achieving its environmental goals,” said Sean Newsum, Director of Environmental Strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, which used a TUI Boeing 757 as part of the Boeing ecoDemonstrator programme in 2015 (see article).
“Our collaboration with TUI on the programme included testing of biofuel, and this 737 MAX delivery flight is a further demonstration of TUI’s interest in bringing price competitive biofuel to market.”
The new narrowbody aircraft, which first entered service last year, has a claimed 14% lower kerosene consumption and carbon emissions compared to aircraft of this size previously operated by subsidiary TUIfly, and also a 40% smaller noise footprint.
By the end of 2018, a total of nine MAX 8s are expected to be delivered to TUI airlines and operated in Belgium, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with the first delivery for TUIfly Germany scheduled for early 2019.
Meanwhile, TUI Group has announced the appointment of Aage Dünhaupt as Director Corporate Communications, who will manage communications and PR for the group’s international aviation and airline business. Dünhaupt was formerly Head of Communications at industry association Airlines for Europe (A4E), following service within the Lufthansa Group. He is succeeded at A4E by Jennifer Janzen, previously in communication roles with Star Alliance and also with the Lufthansa Group.