News

Results from the world's first in-flight study of the impact of using 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in both engines of a commercial aircraft show a reduction in soot particles and formation of contrail ice crystals compared to using conventional Jet A-1 fuel.

The ECLIF3 study, in which Airbus, Rolls-Royce, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt – DLR) and SAF producer Neste collaborated, was the first to measure the impact of 100 percent SAF use on emissions from both engines of an Airbus A350 powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and followed by a DLR chase plane.

IATA has revealed it is developing a SAF registry that will enable airlines worldwide to buy sustainable aviation fuel regardless of where it is produced and have certainty they can claim the environmental benefits of the SAF they have purchased for regulatory compliance purposes.

Due to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2025, the development of the registry is being supported in a pilot phase by 17 major airlines and airline group IAG, as well as the national authorities of six countries, aerospace manufacturers and a fuel producer.

IATA said the registry would help promote a global SAF market and accelerate uptake, which is required to meet a 1,000-fold increase in SAF production by 2050.

The International Aerospace Environmental Group (IAEG), a non-profit organisation of global aerospace companies created to collaborate on and share environmental solutions for the industry, has announced the formation of a working group to evaluate technical issues regarding the compatibility of 100% sustainable aviation fuel with airplane systems.

The IAEG Work Group will coordinate 100% SAF testing efforts with the test results helping the Work Group inform fuel standards body ASTM International as it develops new specifications for 100% SAF.

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic has shared headline results from its 100% SAF transatlantic flight last November.

Ryanair has extended its partnership with Trinity College Dublin to the end of the decade as the airline made a further €2.5md fund the Ryanair Sustainable Aviation Research Centre.

With an initial €1.5m donation from Ryanair, research at the Ryanair Sustainable Aviation Research Centre started in September 2021 to address the complex challenge of progressing sustainable aviation.

With the new funding, the multi-disciplinary research team will continue to focus on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and zero carbon aircraft propulsion systems as well as expanding the scope of the research to examine aviation's non-CO2 emissions.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is now on tap at London Oxford Airport, the UK’s fifth-busiest business aviation gateway. Provided by World Fuel Services, the Neste-produced SAF is available in blends of 30% or a less-costly 10%.

New tenant OXCCU will produce synthetic aviation fuel on-site. Using second-generation e-SAF power-to-liquid technology, OXCCU will use electricity to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide and hydrogen into synthetic aviation fuel.

Kent has been awarded the Front End Engineering Design contract for a ground-breaking initiative spearheaded by Fulcrum BioEnergy.

Fulcrum’s NorthPoint project is designed to convert approximately 600,000 tonnes of pre-processed waste into 100 million litres of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). With a focus on developing projects to produce net-zero transport fuels from waste, Fulcrum has successfully built its first plant in the United States and is now expanding internationally, making its first commercial-scale venture in the UK.

Bosses from two long-time rival airlines have called a truce to further the aviation industry’s plans to decarbonise. Sitting on a panel at the recent Sustainable Skies summit, Virgin Atlantic’s CEO Shai Weiss alongside BA’s Sean Doyle called for ‘radical collaboration’ between airlines, governments, oil companies and others in the industry in order to seriously reduce emissions.

The CEOs were joined onstage by the chief sustainability officers from Airbus and Boeing. Describing how the airlines had shared data regarding SAF use and efficiency, Weiss said: “The real findings that we share with the world are what we call ‘radical collaboration’ and open source,” he said.

Emirates has taken delivery of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Shell Aviation at London Heathrow Airport.

Over 3,000 metric tonnes of neat SAF, blended with conventional jet fuel, will be supplied into the fuelling infrastructure network of the airport until the end of the summer.

This is the first time the airline will be using SAF to power some of its flights at London Heathrow and this represents the largest volume of SAF it has purchased to date. Emirates is participating in London Heathrow’s SAF Incentive Programme, which ensures its affordability and accessibility for airlines operating at the airport.

Wizz Air has announced a £5 million investment in a biofuel company, Firefly. This is Wizz Air’s first equity investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) research and development.

The partnership with Firefly will allow the airline to supply SAF to its UK operations from 2028, up to 525,000 tonnes over 15 years. The agreement has the potential to save 1.5 million tonnes of CO2-eq.

Responding to the Government’s announcement of details of the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) mandate, Environmental Audit Committee member Jerome Mayhew said:

“I warmly welcome the Secretary of State’s confirmation of measures to support sustainable aviation fuel in the UK through this mandate. I look forward to seeing the relevant secondary legislation laid in Parliament.

“As the Committee recently noted, the Government must take care to hold the aviation industry to account on its sustainability goals.

“The mandate will require at least 22% of UK aviation fuel demand to be provided by SAF by 2040, in line with the Government’s preferred “high ambition” scenario for SAF use in the Jet Zero Strategy. Under this scenario, at least 50% of UK aviation fuel demand by 2050 ought to be sustainable; the necessary rate of climb remains steep.

“The Government remains focused on avoiding the need to reduce demand for flights. But the Committee has been clear: if the industry cannot deliver on its proposed emission savings, the Government may have to reconsider demand management measures.”

Jet2.com said it will use a blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at London Stansted Airport this year, 12 months ahead of the UK’s Government’s SAF mandate which is due to be introduced from 2025.
The UK’s third largest airline has purchased approximately 650 tonnes of SAF from Shell Aviation, which will be used to add a 1% SAF blend onto a number of departing flights from London Stansted
This follows Jet2.com revealing just last month that it will use a blend of SAF at Bristol Airport this year. Across the two airports, this means that Jet2.com has purchased approximately 1,000 tonnes of SAF.

Ryanair has announced that it has purchased 1,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from global energy group, Shell, (enough SAF to fuel over 200 flights from Stansted to Madrid), which will be supplied to the airline at its Stansted Airport base. This purchase follows the MoU agreement made between the companies in 2022, providing Ryanair with unique access to purchase up to 360,000 tonnes of SAF from Shell between 2025 and 2030, which could save up to 900,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions.

Today’s announcement, as part of an event showcasing the tools Ryanair is using to decarbonise, demonstrates Ryanair’s continued commitment to achieve net zero by 2050.

Global engineering firm, Alfanar, welcomed the UK’s Transport Secretary Mark Harper MP, alongside Teesside International Airport’s Managing Director Phil Forster, to its Teesside site on Friday 26 April, the same day the UK Government announced measures to give UK aviation and the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry the certainty needed to create green jobs and cut sector emissions.

Headquarted in Saudi Arabia, Alfanar is currently developing a £1.5 billion waste-to-SAF production facility in Teesside in the UK. The facility is known as Lighthouse Green Fuels (LGF). Alfanar’s Teesside facility is the largest SAF project in Europe and could reach Final Investment Decision in 2025 and be operational in 2028.

The project, which will see everyday household and commercial waste in addition to other forms of non-recyclable waste feedstock such as waste biomass, of which there is plentiful supply being used as a feedstock. The facility will produce 175 million litres a year, the equivalent of fuelling 2,500 long-haul flights or 25,000 short-haul flights a year, whilst bringing investment to industrial areas.

Measures have been announced to give UK aviation and the SAF industry the certainty to keep creating skilled British jobs while ensuring air travel is fit for the future.
- Plans have been unveiled for world-leading sustainable aviation fuel mandate, with 10% of all jet fuel set to go green by 2030
- SAF industry estimated to boost the economy by £1.8 billion and create more than 10,000 jobs across the UK by 2030
- The measures form part of UK’s world-leading commitment to cut emissions while minimising impact on consumers

The government has confirmed new targets today (25 April 2024) to ensure 10% of all jet fuel in flights taking off from the UK comes from sustainable sources by 2030 through its Sustainable aviation fuel mandate.

The UK’s SAF mandate, which, subject to parliamentary approval, which will come into force in January 2025, will be one of the first in the world to be put into law, once again putting the UK at the forefront of decarbonising air travel. It follows the world’s first commercial 100% SAF transatlantic flight taking off from Heathrow in November – backed by up to £1 million in government investment.

U.K.-based SAF technology developer Velocys in February announced a new consortium of growth investors have infused the company with $40 million of growth capital as part of take-private transaction completed in January.

The consortium of investors includes Carbon Direct Capital, Lightrock, GenZero and Kibo Investments. In a statement released Feb. 12, Velocys said the $40 million in growth capital will be used to accelerate delivery of the company’s proprietary technology to customer projects while further building its technology leadership, scaling its production, and enhancing the breadth and depth of the team’s expertise.

In 2023, Airbus used more than 11 million litres of SAF in its operations – two times the volume of 2022. This exceeded the initial 2023 target of 10% of the total fuel used across Airbus’ divisions by more than a million litres and accounted for 2% of all SAF produced in the world over the year! This achievement contributed to the reduction of CO2 emissions by 23.587 tonnes.

Read more about the different areas that were covered in their SAF usage:
• Transport and operations
• Employee travels
• Flight tests
• Aircraft deliveries
• Working with partners

Jet2.com has announced that it will use a blend of SAF at Bristol Airport in 2024, almost a year ahead of the UK’s Government’s SAF mandate which is due to be introduced from 2025.

The UK’s third largest airline has purchased over 300 tonnes of SAF from Q8Aviation, which will be used to add a 1% SAF blend onto a number of departing flights from Bristol Airport this year. The total emissions of the SAF that Jet2.com has purchased are at least 70% lower than those of conventional aviation fuel.

As well as realising these benefits, using a SAF blend in 2024 means that Jet2.com can prepare its operation ahead of the UK SAF mandate, which will be introduced from 1st January 2025. As part of this mandate, airlines have been set a target that at least 10% of jet fuel should be made from SAF by 2030.

A multimillion-pound scheme to construct a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility, which could create hundreds of jobs in Port Talbot, looks set to receive the go-ahead.
Per year, it will produce about 100 million litres of sustainable aviation fuel. The SAF produced will replace about 1 per cent of the fossil jet fuel used in the UK. According to the application, a total of 405 net additional FTE positions could be generated each year across the wider impact area during the construction stage. This is inclusive of 220 jobs in the local impact area.

The government of Singapore has unveiled an action plan that aims to decarbonise the country’s aviation sector. The program will, in part, require flights departing Singapore to be fuelled with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) starting in 2026.

The Singapore Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint was launched on 19 February. It was developed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore in consultation with industry and other stakeholders and aims to decarbonise the country’s aviation sector. Under the blueprint, CAAS will work with aviation stakeholders to reduce domestic aviation emissions from airport operations by 20% by 2030 when compared to a 2019 baseline. The program aims to achieve net-zero domestic and international emissions by 2050.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production doubled in 2023, however more needs to be done if the aviation industry is to reach its 2050 net zero goal, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

According to IATA, estimates released on 6 December 2023, SAF volumes in 2023 reached more than 600 million litres (0.5 metric tonnes) – double the 300 million litres produced in 2022 – but accounted for just 3 per cent of all renewable fuels produced, with 97 per cent of renewable fuel production going to other sectors.

In 2024, SAF production is expected to triple to 1.875 billion litres, accounting for 0.53 per cent of aviation’s fuel need, and 6 per cent of renewable fuel capacity, according to IATA figures.

Rolls-Royce has announced that it has successfully completed compatibility testing of 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on all its in-production civil aero engine types. This fulfils its commitment made in 2021 to demonstrate there are no engine technology barriers to the use of 100% SAF. Testing has involved a variety of ground and flight tests to replicate in-service conditions. All the tests confirmed the use of 100% SAF does not affect engine performance.

Andreea Moyes, Air bp’s Global Head of Sustainability, believes that Air bp has a lot it can bring to the table that will be crucial in developing the global scale for SAF. These areas include deep experience in aviation fuel distribution, technology and production.

IFM Investors Pty, the Australian asset manager with stakes in airports from Sydney to London, plans to spend more than A$1 billion ($651 million) ramping up domestic production of sustainable aviation fuel.

Depending on the amount of feedstock available to make the fuel, IFM’s investment — one of the largest financial commitments yet in an area that’s key to decarbonizing air travel — could swell to A$2 billion within five years, Danny Elia, the firm’s global head of infrastructure asset management, said. IFM aims to propel use of the cleaner-burning jet fuel to 10 percent of Australia’s total by 2030.

Travel management company ATPI is poised to sign a deal that will enable its clients to purchase sustainable aviation fuel from one of the world's leading producers, Neste.

Pippa Ganderton, product director of the TMC's sustainability offering ATPI Halo, confirmed the imminent partnership at the Institute of Travel Management's Road to Net Zero event this week. In a post on the company's website in January, ATPI said its partnership with Neste would "significantly enhance the versatility of carbon reduction solutions" for its clients.

Airbus and TotalEnergies have signed a strategic partnership to meet the challenges of aviation decarbonisation with sustainable aviation fuel.

In line with the objective of achieving net carbon neutrality of aviation by 2050, this partnership aims to contribute to the reduction of the sector's CO₂ emissions, in which Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) play a key role. SAF supplied by TotalEnergies can reduce up to 90% CO₂ emissions over lifecycle compared to their fossil fuel equivalent.

British Airways parent IAG has signed a long-term deal with a producer of sustainable fuel made from CO₂, water and renewable energy. IAG bought 12% of the world's SAF last year. The 785,000 tonnes of fuel, known as e-SAF, will be delivered to IAG’s airlines, which also include Aer Lingus, Iberia, Vueling and Level. IAG said the deal was cumulative over 14 years.

IAG has committed to 10% SAF use by 2030 and said it now had one-third of the supply needed to reach this target.
"The significant ramp up is from 2029 when it will be 80,000 additional tonnes per year, taking our 2030 total commitment from 250,000 tonnes to 330,000 tonnes – one third of our 2030 commitment," said IAG.

Air France–KLM, (Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Transavia) is the world’s largest SAF) user for the second consecutive year, according to the airline group’s recent sustainability report. To reach its targeted share of SAF consumption of at least 10% by 2030, it signed a series of agreements with producers.

In 2022, Air France-KLM was the world’s largest SAF user, consuming 17% of the entire global supply, compared to only 3% of fossil fuel. This year the group’s members consumed around 80,000 metric tons of SAF altogether – almost twice as much as in 2022,

Emerging carbon pricing mechanisms and market-based incentives propel airline investments in sustainable aviation fuels. Financial rewards for carbon reductions drive adoption beyond regulatory mandates. Pioneering research into new feedstock sources, like municipal solid waste or algae, promises scalable and cost-effective production methods. These alternative sources expand the feedstock base for sustainable aviation fuel production.

As the aviation industry works towards a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is viewed as one of the key enablers. GE Aerospace has announced that since 2016, it has tested 10 different engines produced by it and its joint ventures on 100 percent SAF.

Ryanair and Enilive have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the long-term supply of Enilive sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at selected Ryanair airports across Italy, further advancing the airline’s Pathway to Net Zero by 2050 decarbonisation strategy.

This agreement with Enilive would enable Ryanair to access to up to 100,000 tons (33m gallons) of SAF between 2025 and 2030 (equiv. to 20,000 flights from Milano Malpensa Airport to Dublin).

Trinity College Dublin and SMBC Aviation Capital have announced the Trinity College Dublin SAF Research Facility at SMBC Aviation Capital. The research facility will focus on the research, development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs).

This adds a fresh dimension to Trinity's work on SAFs, which now involves four main projects with a shared goal of making air travel better for the planet.

Brussels Airport is set to incentivise airlines to adopt the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The SAF incentive programme will be made available “in the course of 2024” to all passenger and cargo airlines, including short-haul and long-haul flights, departing from Brussels Airport.

The programme is part of a €2 million government scheme to finance projects designed to make aviation more sustainable and comes after the Belgian government in late 2023 accepted the airport’s proposal for an incentive to boost SAF usage.

The December 2023 ICAO Conference on 'Aviation Alternative Fuels' underlined the key role of SAF, as States agreed on a Global Vision to deliver a reduction of 5% in the carbon intensity of international air transportation by 2030 using SAF and LCAF (lower carbon aviation fuel).

Advanced Fuel Fund winning projects will help create up to 10,000 green jobs by 2035 and enhance the economy by around £1.8 billion a year.

If you missed the online launch webinar, you can now catch up on the recording to hear directly from the UK SAF Clearing House team, Department for Transport and industry partners about the UK Government’s ambition to build a thriving SAF production industry and the support available for fuel producers.

The first transatlantic flight by a large passenger plane powered only by alternative fuels has landed in the US.

Operated by Virgin Atlantic, it flew from London's Heathrow to New York's JFK airport.

Airlines see the flight, which is supported by government funding, as demonstrating that a greener way of flying is possible.
But a lack of fuel supply remains a challenge, while other technology will be needed to hit emissions targets.
The flight was a one-off of its kind so far, and is not carrying fare-paying passengers.

MEPs approved a new law in September to increase the uptake of sustainable fuels, such as advanced biofuels or hydrogen, in the aviation sector.

The RefuelEU aviation rules are part of the “Fit for 55 package”, the EU’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to ensure the EU becomes climate neutral by 2050. They seek to encourage the aviation sector to use sustainable aviation fuels in order to cut emissions.

Bio-based aviation fuel reduces the number of ultrafine particles, improving air quality. That is one of the conclusions drawn from a large-scale international experiment at Copenhagen Airport.

Researchers measured an aircraft with 34 percent bio-based fuel, SAF, in the tank while it was taxiing between the runway and the gate at the airport. Ground measurements show a reduction in the emission of ultrafine particles by about 30 percent.

Farnborough Airport in the UK has announced the sale of its millionth litre of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Having begun to offer SAF to all its customers in 2021, Farnborough Airport has become one of the largest single-site suppliers of SAF to the business aviation community in the UK. It also became the first airport in the world to offer SAF at the same price as its standard Jet A1 fuel during the lead up to the 2022 Farnborough International Airshow.

DfT announced on 4 September 2023 that it is committed to introducing a revenue certainty mechanism to support SAF production in the UK and boost its uptake, giving producers greater assurance about earnings from the SAF they produce.

DfT will launch a consultation on the design and delivery of the scheme to bolster the development of SAF and drive further investment. The revenue certainty scheme, which is intended to be funded by industry, will give the aviation sector the launchpad to confidently invest in SAF and transition away from fossil fuel reliance.

A new £1.5bn Teesside plant that will convert up to one million tonnes of household waste into jet fuel each year is planned to be operational in 2028.

This news article covers the agreement between the Parliament and Council in a bid to decarbonise the aviation sector.

The proposal aims to increase both demand for and supply of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), while ensuring a level playing field across the EU air transport market. Key elements and the main amendments to the Commission's proposal for SAF are also included. 

It is a major proposal which aims to put air transport on the trajectory of the EU’s climate targets for 2030 and 2050, as SAF are one of the key short- and medium-term tools for decarbonising aviation.