The airline companies of the Tata group – Air India, AirAsia India and Vistara (Tata SIA Airlines), signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Indian Institute of Petroleum today to collaborate and work together on the research, development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). The focus of the MoU is the exploration of Single Reactor HEFA Technology for Drop-in liquid Sustainable Aviation and Automotive Fuel (DILSAAF). The MOU also outlines the intent of the signatories to work together in a variety of other areas related to sustainable aviation.
The impact of continued use of petroleum-derived fuel for aviation is considerable with greenhouse gas and carbon emissions being of significant concern across the globe. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions from their operations by 2050 in line with the objectives of the Paris agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C. According to IATA, the aviation industry’s net-zero carbon emissions target is focused on delivering maximum reduction in emissions at source, with the adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) contributing around 65% of the reduction in emissions, in addition to innovative new propulsion technologies, and other efficiency improvements. Sustainable Aviation Fuel is made from sustainable resources, such as forestry and agricultural waste and used cooking oil and can be blended with fossil jet fuel to reduce emissions. It is a ‘drop-in’ fuel, meaning it can be added with no changes needed to the aircraft.
CSIR – Indian Institute of Petroleum is located at Dehradun and dedicated to R&D in the hydrocarbon sector. Its charter is to provide competitive and sustainable technologies and products to meet the requirements of the ever-growing energy sector and develop capacity and capability in new energy areas such as bio, hydrogen and solar energy and their innovative combination.
The Tata Sustainability Group (“TSG”) serves as a Centre of Excellence and nodal resource on sustainability for Tata group companies. It has, since its formation in 2014, been partnering with Tata group companies to embed sustainability in their business strategies and transition them to a low carbon scenario. The collaboration on Sustainable Aviation Fuels is being coordinated by TSG working closely with the Tata Airline Companies and CSIR-IIP. The Tata Group recently outlined a transformative vision on sustainability which envisages the Group becoming Net Zero by 2045. The Tata group has been ranked as the top Sustainability Leader in Asia Pacific and the only Asian company to appear among the top 15 corporates globally as per the GlobeScan Sustainability Leaders Survey, 2022.
About Air India:
Founded by the legendary JRD Tata, Air India pioneered India’s aviation sector. Since its first flight on October 15, 1932, Air India has an extensive domestic network and has spread its wings beyond to become a major international airline with a network across USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Far-East, South-East Asia, Australia and the Gulf. Air India is a member of Star Alliance, the largest global airline consortium. After 69 years as a Government-owned enterprise, Air India and Air India Express were welcomed back into the Tata group in January 2022. The present management at Air India is driving the five-year transformation roadmap under the aegis of Vihaan.AI to establish itself as a world-class global airline with an Indian heart.
Vihaan.AI, derived from the Sanskrit for “Dawn of a New Era”, is Air India’s five-year transformational roadmap. Supported by five pillars, multiple workstreams and spanning three phases over five years, Vihaan.AI will see dramatic growth in Air India’s network and fleet, a completely revamped product and customer proposition, and much-improved reliability. The airline will also take a leadership position in technology, sustainability and innovation, while aggressively investing in the best industry talent. Vihaan.AI is aimed at putting Air India on a path to sustained growth, profitability and market leadership, and restoring the airline to the heights of global aviation.
About the Tata Group:
Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising 30 companies across ten verticals. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission ‘To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust’.
Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation, and art and culture. In 2020-21, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $103 billion (INR 7.7 trillion). These companies collectively employ over 800,000 people. Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors. There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of $314 billion (INR 23.4 trillion) as on December 31, 2021. Companies include Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Tata Consumer Products, Titan, Tata Capital, Tata Power, Tata Communications, Indian Hotels, Tata Digital and Tata Electronics.