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ITA Airways Participates In SkyTeam Sustainable Flight Challenge

An ITA Airways Airbus A320 with the new livery at Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport. (Photo: ITA Airways)

ITA Airways, the Italian national airline, will participate in the Sustainable Flight Challenge organized by the SkyTeam alliance. ITA Airways, joined SkyTeam on Oct. 29, 2021, continuing the tradition of the former Italian flag carrier, Alitalia (which joined in 2001 as one of the first members).

SkyTeam, founded on June 22, 2000, by Aeroméxico, Air France, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air, is an airline alliance based at the World Trade Center Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands.

The Sustainable Flight Challenge (TSFC) was created to stimulate the airline industry by accelerating innovation towards a sustainable future. Sixteen airlines participate to this friendly competition scheduled between May 1-14, 2022 and they will implement their most sustainable solutions. The objective is that the series of environmental protection initiatives will become the norm for a future of green aviation, with the involvement of operators and travelers.

There are two categories, long haul — for flights over 5,000 kilometers — and medium-haul  —flights between 1,000 and 5,000 kilometers. SkyTeam members can participate in both, but operating only one flight in each category, using an existing route.

The challenge begins at check-in and ends when passengers pick up their luggage at their destination. So, it’s not just about optimal flying, but also sustainable solutions for cargo, supplies and food. For each airline, the “biggest CO₂ reduction” will be evaluated. This measurement will be obtained by taking as reference the same type of aircraft, the same distance and the same flight, operated with “traditional” methods. Participating airlines can choose to offset any residual CO₂ emissions, such as the use of alternative fuels, sustainable catering, or waste recycling. The goal is to share all sustainability innovations and decisions made with all participating airlines from SkyTeam and beyond.

Despite rumors that ITA Airways is moving closer to Star Alliance (beyond its only one-year contract with SkyTeam and the proposed purchase of the Italian national airline by Lufthansa) this competition is an important example for all airlines towards a more sustainable future. ITA Airways. The Italian airline is already in negotiations with several companies for the sale and has already opened its data room to MSC, Lufthansa and Certares.

It can be read on ITA Airways website that the flight, for medium-haul category, left yesterday at 2:05 p.m. from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (flight AZ 110) operated with an Airbus A320. ITA Airways participates also in the the long-haul category, with flight AZ 608, on the intercontinental route Rome to New York operated on May 14 by an Airbus A330 departing at 10:15 a.m. from Fiumicino and arriving at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport at 2 p.m. Furthermore, ITA Airways took part in some reforestation projects in Africa and South America to compensate the carbon footprint of its flights.

Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo
Latest posts by Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo (see all)


  • Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo

    Vincenzo graduated in 2019 in Mechanical Engineering with an aeronautical curriculum, focusing his thesis on Human Factors in aircraft maintenance. In 2022 he pursued his master's degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Palermo, Italy. He combines his journalistic activities with his work as a Reliability Engineer at Zetalab.

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