The Aviation Challenge


It’s time to reshape our industry’s future. That's why SkyTeam launched The Aviation Challenge, harnessing the power of friendly competition to drive the changes our industry needs as we chart a path to Net Zero. 

The Aviation Challenge (TAC) was sparked by SkyTeam member, KLM, during a ‘bold moves’ sustainability brainstorming and inspired by the 1930s London to Melbourne air race.


** You may know The Aviation Challenge (TAC) as its former name: The Sustainable Flight Challenge (TSFC). In July 2024, three years after the launch of the initiative, we have rebranded the challenge to a new name reflecting its broader vision to drive meaningful change industry-wide. **

We know we can’t make the long term changes our industry needs overnight, such as greater availability of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and hydrogen and electric technology to power aircraft. However, just as this great race revolutionized international flying, SkyTeam developed an industry-first airline sustainability challenge to drive the smaller changes that can make a difference to our industry in the short term.

The changes needed today won’t happen by working in isolation. SkyTeam’s TAC will drive change and contribute to a more sustainable future by bringing global airlines together to spur action and innovation - now. And, because all participating airlines commit to sharing their innovations and solutions for greener travel, TAC will benefit the wider industry.

How it works

Over a specified two-week period, participating airlines operate short-, medium and long-haul round-trip flights that are already part of their networks with the aim to making them as sustainable as possible.

Awards for airlines include operating flights with the lowest CO2 emissions, achieving the greatest CO2 reduction (compared to their baseline), the lowest CO2 emissions for ground handling operations and waste reduction. Other awards celebrate airlines that push the boundaries of sustainability through innovation and those making sustainability a part of their daily operations at greater scale, making progress through industry collaboration.  

"When it comes to operating more responsibly, The Aviation Challenge demonstrates how even small changes add up to make a big difference when we work together.”


Patrick Roux

CEO, SkyTeam

The Aviation Challenge 2022

In May 2022, the first-ever Aviation Challenge saw 16 participating airlines find new ways to reduce CO2 emissions, while generating hundreds of innovative solutions to share across the alliance.

The competing airlines collectively improved operational efficiency by 15%, measured by CO2 intensity across the 22 flights operated during the two-weeks of the Challenge. Flights were evaluated against 14 categories by an independent and diverse judging panel of international sustainability and aviation industry experts.

"By pulling together around sustainability, similar to how the industry has done with regards to safety, we will show the power of the collective aviation ecosystem. We are determined to facilitate sharing and exchange of all known solutions to get them implemented industry-wide.”


Robin Spierings

Project Manager, TAC

The Aviation Challenge 2023

This year’s Challenge was even bigger and bolder than the first and included SkyTeam ‘friends and family’ airlines in addition to SkyTeam members. In total 22 airlines participated, operating 72 round-trip short-, medium- and long-haul flights – an increase of 38% and 227% respectively versus the previous year.

TAC 2023 has generated more than 350 new solutions in the quest to find a greener future for air travel with awards covering seven main categories and 25 sub-categories.

The Aviation Challenge 2024

The focus of this year’s Challenge is adoption because TAC’s true impact will only be realized when airlines scale innovations across their entire operations. We will measure and award progress as well as efforts on the flights. 

Award categories will recognize airlines with a strong approach to scaling sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), who excel in collaborative efforts and those who focus on embedding sustainability in broader business practices.  


Check out the website to find the latest updates on what we are doing next.