Air transport trailblazers
Aviation offers fast long-distance services for goods and travellers. Air transport with passenger planes and cargo planes separately, but it is also common to carry goods with passenger planes. Globally, about half of all freight transport takes place by air with a passenger plane. This combination is called “belly freight”.
The conversion to fossil-free aircraft is hampered by the aircraft’s high energy use per km in combination with ever-larger aircraft flying long distances. The implication is that in the foreseeable future, climate change can primarily be achieved through the transition to renewable fuels. It is already technically possible today to produce renewable aviation fuel that can be used in existing aircraft engines without technical adjustments. The challenge lies mainly in the lack of access to biomass and the lack of large-scale fuel production.
Electrification of the aircraft may take place, but first in small aircraft designed for shorter distances and with fairly low load weight capacity.