Virgin Atlantic has signed an agreement with Neste Oyi for the supply of 2.5 million litres/2,000 metric tonnes of neat Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), which will be delivered in the first half of 2022 to London Heathrow.
The supply is an important step towards the airline’s target of 10% SAF by 2030.
The agreement forms part of a wider collaboration between Virgin Atlantic and Neste, the world’s leading provider of SAF, to increase the availability and use of SAF in the UK.
Neste’s MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is made from sustainably-sourced, renewable waste and residue raw materials. In its neat form, it claims it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% of life cycle, compared to traditional fossil jet fuel.
Virgin Atlantic and Neste are supported by ExxonMobil’s expertise in the supply and distribution of jet fuel to manage this delivery of SAF into the UK. ExxonMobil is Virgin Atlantic’s largest fuel supplier at London Heathrow.
Virgin Atlantic has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. Today, 100% of its fleet is twin engine and 70% next generation, which it claims makes it one of the most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies. This follows a multi-billion-dollar fleet renewal programme that has already delivered a 20% reduction in carbon emissions between 2007 and 2019.
The agreement with Neste represents the first commercial supply of SAF for Virgin Atlantic, following its long-standing commitment to SAF and operation of the first commercial aircraft using sustainable fuels in 2008.
Holly Boyd-Boland, VP Corporate Development, Virgin Atlantic said: “After fleet renewal, SAF represents the greatest opportunity to decarbonise aviation in the short to medium term. This supply is the beginning of commercial SAF at scale for Virgin Atlantic and whilst only enough to operate 140 flights between London and New York, it’s a starting point.
“To meet our 10% SAF target in 2030 we need to deliver this volume more than 70 times over, requiring cross industry and Government action to support commercialisation of SAF at scale, particularly in the UK. We will continue to work closely with Neste and ExxonMobil, as well as wider industry partners, to find innovative solutions to achieve this goal.”
Jonathan Wood, Vice President Renewable Aviation from Neste, added: “Neste is committed to working together with the aviation industry to achieve its emission reduction targets. We are ready to support the aviation industry and UK government’s policy ambitions to increase the use of SAF to at least 10% by 2030. We need to act now – SAF is a proven solution with clear climate benefits and is already available today.”