Wizz Air awarded ‘Strategic Investment of the Year’

A Wizz Air aircraft parked at the terminal.
Photo Credit: Wizz Air

Wizz Air has clinched the prestigious title of ‘Strategic Investment of The Year – Europe’ at the 2023 SAF Investor Awards held in London.

This recent accolade furthers Wizz Air’s commitment to pioneering sustainable practices within the aviation industry.

The SAF Investor Awards

The SAF Investor Awards themselves stand as a beacon for acknowledging industry leaders dedicated to decarbonizing aviation.

The awards honor entities making significant strides in advancing sustainable aviation fuel initiatives. By so doing, the awards propel the industry towards a greener future.

Strategic Investment in Firefly

Central to Wizz Air’s triumph is its strategic £5 million equity investment in Firefly. The company is an innovative biofuel company based in the UK.

This investment aims to bolster research and development efforts towards sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production. This now marks a further pivotal step in the airline’s sustainability journey.

Firefly’s Approach to SAF Production

Firefly’s unique approach involves the conversion of sewage sludge, a plentiful and low-value waste product, into SAF.

The UK alone produces over 57 million tonnes of sewage sludge annually, making it a readily available feedstock for Firefly’s technology, which holds immense potential, capable of producing up to 250,000 tonnes of SAF.

Through this partnership, Wizz Air will receive up to 525,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for its UK operations by 2028.

This will potentially mitigate 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, a significant contribution to environmental protection.

Wizz Air Airbus aircraft on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Wizz Air
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Firefly’s SAF undergoes rigorous certification against the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) standard, ensuring adherence to stringent sustainability criteria.

Consequently, projections indicate a remarkable 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional fossil jet fuel. This positions Firefly as a frontrunner in sustainable aviation solutions.

Wizz Air Holistic Strategy

Beyond its partnership with Firefly, Wizz Air remains committed to sustainability across its operations.

Wizz Air maintains strong operational efficiency, evident in their high seat density and load factors. Boasting the lowest carbon emission per passenger/km among its competitors, this positions them as a leader in sustainable air travel.

A Wizz Air Airbus passing overhead.
Aldo Bidini (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

Further solidifying their commitment, they recently won the “Most Sustainable Low-Cost Airline” award within the World Finance Sustainability Awards program (2021-2023).

Moreover, the airline received recognition by winning the “Global Environmental Sustainability Airline Group of the Year” by the CAPA-Centre for Aviation Awards for Excellence 2022-2023.

Yvonne Moynihan, Corporate and ESG Officer at Wizz Air, expressed her elation upon receiving the SAF Investor Award: “We are thrilled to receive the SAF Investor Award for our first equity investment in Firefly, a sustainable aviation fuel producer.”

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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