In My Perspective
Airbus marks helicopter and decarbonization milestones
We continue to have a successful year in Latin America with all our divisions. In August, Airbus successfully completed the delivery of five H125 helicopters as part of the Chilean Navy’s “Gaviota” which modernised the Naval Aviation’s fleet squadron with high-performing single-engine helicopters ideal for a variety of missions at sea level and at high altitude.
Airbus chalked up another win for our helicopter business in August, when we attended the 2023 edition of the Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE), held in São Paulo, Brazil. Our intense participation in Latin America’s largest business aviation event included showcasing three helicopters (the ACH145, ACH130 and ACH125), receiving nearly 8,000 visitors.
As a result of these efforts, we booked five orders for our powerful and stylish corporate helicopters, including three ACH145s and two ACH130s, which will serve customers in the pharmaceutical, agribusiness, banking and retail sectors.
Additionally, we just delivered the first A321neo to LATAM Airlines leased from AerCap and we booked an order for 13 additional A321neo aircraft to further expand its route network and drive its regional growth.
The newly delivered A321neo for LATAM features Airbus’ Airspace XL bins in the cabin, becoming the first cabin of this type to be selected by a South American carrier. In July, LATAM took delivery of an A320neo with Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) on its ferry flight to destination.
In 2016, Airbus became the first aircraft manufacturer to offer customers SAF at delivery flights. Today, aircraft and helicopters leave Airbus delivery centres with SAF onboard as Airbus is offering up to 5% pure SAF at no extra cost to customers taking delivery of aircraft in Toulouse and Hamburg through both physical SAF and SAF certificates. SAF has been identified as one of the key elements in helping achieve emissions reduction goals, as it is a “drop-in” fuel that can reduce life cycle CO2 emissions by 80 percent on average compared to conventional fuel.
While we continue to support the region’s helicopter and aircraft needs, we are also making progress in supporting the aviation industry’s decarbonization goals. In Latin America we teamed up with LATAM by funding a study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to explore scenarios for the deployment of SAF through the year 2050. A team of natural and social scientists will analyse pathways involving low-carbon hydrogen, direct air capture, and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, as well as the impact of incentives and other policies.
Slated for publication in April 2024, the analysis will include actionable recommendations for decarbonizing the aerospace sector in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. While Airbus is focused on curbing its own carbon emissions, we are proud to help fund this promising study as we continue to fuel Latin America’s decarbonization ambitions.