ATR on Thursday delivered the first-ever so-called green-financed aircraft to Swedish regional airline Braathens Regional Airlines (BRA). Leased from Avation and financed by Deutsche Bank, the aircraft comes as part of a new order for five ATR 72-600s, all purchased by Avation from ATR and leased to BRA. Braathens expects to receive all five of the airplanes by the end of March, by which time it plans to have disposed of the rest of its four-engine Avro RJs, resulting in a fleet consisting of 15 ATR 72-600s.
The replacement of BRA's aging regional jets with new turboprops aligns with the “green” loan principles (GLP) established by the Loan Market Association in 2018, according to Vigeo Eiris, an independent agency that provides environmental, social, and governance ratings.
According to ATR, the first-ever green financing of an aircraft confirms the high sustainability of the ATR 600 series turboprops. For example, the manufacturer claims the ATR 72-600 emits 40 percent less CO2 than regional jets and older turboprop models. Turboprops’ environmental friendliness manifests itself most demonstrably on short routes, where they accelerate air using less power and therefore less fuel.
“We have made a commitment to decrease our environmental impact, and the ATR is an essential part of our strategy,” said Braathens CEO Geir Stormorken. “By replacing parts of our existing fleet of regional jets with ATR 72-600 aircraft we will emit 7,500 fewer tonnes of CO2 per aircraft, per year. We believe that aviation is an essential part of Sweden’s regional transport network and we look forward to showing our passengers and the Swedish public at large that there is a sustainable way of flying.”
BRA became the first airline to gain environmental certification to ISO 14001 standards in 2009, the first airline to offer pre-booking of biofuel flights to travelers in 2018, and the first to offset 110 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.
The airline’s environmental goals include a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent per passenger by 2025 and to become fossil-free by 2030.