Sustaining Sustainable Aviation.

4 min read

The aviation industry seems to be working overtime to meet mandates for net-zero set by governments around the world; will they make it?

Why is this important: Governments and special interest groups globally have been pushing for net-zero within aviation, and in particular within the airline segment. While there is undoubtedly tremendous progress forward, efforts have been hampered by the cost-prohibitive nature of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Therefore, there is some progress on some fronts while in other areas there’s very little movement. One can only speculate as to whether or not these mandates would be met by the generally acceptable deadline of 2050.

Continue reading to learn more about the progress being made with sustainable aviation fuels, as well as the setbacks and challenges being faced.

Southwest Airlines inks landmark sustainable aviation fuel deal

Southwest Airlines recently signed a huge sustainable aviation fuel supply deal spanning 20 years.

Southwest will buy 680 million gallons of SAF from USA BioEnergy over the next two decades.

When blended with conventional jet fuel, it has the equivalent of 2.59 billion gallons of usable aviation fuel.

Supply is set to commence in 2028 from USA BioEnergy’s facilities in Texas.

The sustainable aviation fuel agreement sets out a strategic long-term partnership allowing for an additional 180 million gallons of SAF per year as it ramps up production.

By Travel Mole

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Emirates’ first flights with sustainable aviation fuel from Dubai takes off

The first Emirates flights operated using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) provided by Shell Aviation took off from Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Among the flights was Emirates’ EK412, bound for Sydney on October 24.

Shell Aviation played a vital role in enabling this occasion, having supplied 315,000 gallons of blended SAF for use at Dubai’s aviation hub.

This supply marked the first-ever introduction of SAF to Emirates in Dubai, supporting a series of flights over the past few weeks.

The SAF blend, provided by Shell, consisted of a 40 percent ratio of neat SAF and 60 percent conventional Jet A-1 fuel, with chemical characteristics identical to traditional jet fuel.

By Arabian Business

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UK gives go ahead for sustainable aviation fuel flight

Britain’s aviation regulator announced Monday it has issued Virgin Atlantic with a permit for a “world-first” transatlantic flight powered entirely by sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said permission for the planned November 28 flight from London to New York follows successful “technical reviews” of the request by the British airline, which was supported by a consortium of companies. They include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, BP, and others.

The aviation industry produces high levels of both carbon dioxide and non-CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change, according to scientists.


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U.S. sustainable aviation fuel production target faces cost, margin challenges

The United States’ goal of rapidly ramping up production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) may encounter strong headwinds as producers balk at the low margins for the biofuel and some airlines flag concerns over the costly switch, experts said.

President Joe Biden, who has made tackling climate change a central pillar of his administration, launched a challenge in 2021 to supply at least 3 billion gallons of SAF annually by 2030, a steep jump from the current 15.8 million gallons as per U.S. government data.

U.S. production of SAF will be 2.1 billion gallons by 2030, S&P Global Commodity Insights has estimated, based on upcoming projects.

“A lot of additional investment (is) needed to hit that (3 billion) target,” said Wood Mackenzie analyst Gordon McManus.

By Sourasis Bose | Reuters

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Note: The views and opinions expressed in the content shared in this digest are for informational purposes only, are solely those of the original content creators, and do not constitute an endorsement by or necessarily represent the views of On Aviation™ or its affiliates.

Thank you for reading this week’s On Aviation™ digest. In what way do you believe SAF will be beneficial to the aviation industry? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Remember to check out our On Aviation™ Podcast and continue the conversation on our Twitter and Instagram.

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