(March 15, 2022, 11:49 +07)
Qantas has unveiled a plan to tap into supplies of California-produced Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for its flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Australia.
SAF produces up to 80% fewer emissions than traditional jet kerosene and is compatible with existing aircraft. Airlines around the world are increasingly using SAF, with demand outstripping supply in most jurisdictions.
US biofuel company Aemetis will supply nearly 20 million liters of blended SAF for Qantas flights each year, starting in 2025.
The sustainable fuel will be produced at the Aemetis plant currently under development in Riverbank, California. It will come from certified waste raw materials which will then be mixed with normal jet fuel.
Refueling. Photo by Steven Howard from TravelNewsAsia.com
“Climate change is a priority for Qantas, our customers, employees and investors, and it is a priority for us as we move forward in our recovery from the pandemic,” said Alan Joyce, Group CEO of Qantas. “Operating our aircraft with sustainable aviation fuel is the most important thing we can do to directly reduce our emissions. We are actively seeking to source sustainable aviation fuel for our operations, and the agreement we are announcing today is hopefully one of many we will complete as the market catches up to global demand. At the moment we can only buy sustainable fuels from abroad. The United States, United Kingdom and Europe have industries that have developed with a lot of government support, as this is a new area and the long-term benefits for these countries are obvious. »
This is the second major offshore purchase of SAF by Qantas with flights from London using a sustainable fuel blend since the start of this year.
Aiming to be net carbon neutral by 2050, Qantas is also pursuing a number of additional agreements to add more SAFs to the US and other international airports.
“Qantas has already committed $50 million to support the development of an SAF industry in Australia, and we would be its biggest customer. In addition to the environmental and economic benefits, a local SAF industry would reduce the country’s dependence on imported fuels,” Joyce said. “At the moment, SAF is more expensive than traditional fossil fuels, but with the right investment, it could reach a scale where the cost is comparable.”
The deal follows Qantas signing an agreement with oneworld partners last year to consider buying SAF from Aemetis for use outside of California airports.