Emirates has taken delivery of its first uplift of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at London Heathrow, the first time the airline will be using the fuel from the airport.

Over 3,000 metric tonnes of neat SAF (blended with conventional fossil-based jet fuel) will be supplied from Shell Aviation and delivered into Heathrow airport’s infrastructure network until the end of summer 2024, representing the largest volume of SAF Emirates has purchased to date. The airline will be accounting for tracking and tracing the delivery of the fuel, as well as its accredited sustainability attributes.

“Thanks to commitments from airlines like Emirates, we expect to support the use of up to 155,000 tonnes of SAF at Heathrow this year,” commented Ross Baker, chief commercial officer at London Heathrow airport.

The purchase forms part of London Heathrow’s SAF Incentive Programme. Inaugurated in 2022, this first-of-a-kind scheme aims to provide a support mechanism to reduce the premium price gap between conventional jet fuel and SAF by approximately 50%. Deputy president and chief operating officer of Emirates Adel Al Redha explained that Heathrow’s programme “demonstrates credible action to encourage the scale up and use of SAF by airlines, building local production capabilities grounded in real demand”; adding his hopes that the initiative would receive further collective government support to further boost SAF investment in the future.

Earlier this year, Emirates also became the first international airline to join the Solent Cluster in the UK, a cross-sector collaboration focused on low carbon investments. This initiative has the potential to create a SAF plant with a 200,000 tonne annual output if operational by 2032.
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