As sustainability was the main topic during the 10th Arab Aviation Summit (AAS), which will hold from March 14 to 16, aviation officials agreed that reaching zero carbon emissions in the sector by 2050 is a tough task, but achievable.
This year’s edition will be held in Ras Al Khaimah, under the theme of Impactful Sustainability in Modern Day Travel and Tourism.
Aviation officials at AAS stated that achieving zero carbon emissions is greatly dependent on efforts of manufacturers, airline operators and governments, and related to sustainable fuel, which needs incentives for sufficient and affordable production.
Sustainable fuel is currently not adequately available, it only covered about 0.1 percent of the aviation sector’s fuel needs in 2022, said Khaled Al-Issawi, Director of the Gulf and Near East Region in the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
“Current production of sustainable fuel is almost 100 million liters per year, with a target of 450 billion liters, which is 4500 times more than the current level, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050”, stated Al-Issawi during the Summit.
The technology needed to produce enough sustainable fuel is available, but there should be more incentives for producers, so it can be affordable to airline operators, added Al-Issawi.
“Previous years have showed how flexible the manufacturing industry can be when faced with challenges, and there are expectations for 2023 to be a more positive year for the aviation and tourism sectors,” Air Arabia CEO, Adel Al Ali said.
Ali stressed on the challenges that face the aviation sector, and how fingers are always pointed to companies during discussions about sustainability or ticket costs, but the responsibility falls on everyone in the field, and there should more cooperation in the sector.
The region’s air traffic and travel levels was high in 2019, and sustainability can be achieved in the aviation field with everyone involved in the field working hard, stated the Secretary General of the Arab Air Carriers’ Organisation, Abdul Wahad Teffaha.
Teffaha also mentioned the COVID restrictions on travelling, which negatively impacted the sector.