United support for SAF

Air New Zealand and Embraer are among the companies to have joined the United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund, an effort to increase production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) through investments in start-ups.

The collaborative effort involving airlines, aircraft and engine manufacturers, fuel producers, engineers and technology experts has now committed more than $200m to the project.

“SAF is the best tool we have to decarbonise aeroplanes, but we don't have enough of it,” said Andrew Chang, managing director of United Airlines Ventures. “To create the fuel supply we need for our fleet, United recognised that we would have to help build a brand-new industry from scratch – like wind and solar in previous decades. As part of our effort to build a new sustainable aviation ecosystem, we recruited a group of partners with the industry expertise to support our start-ups with both financial and strategic capital, to help them navigate the entire process from conception to commercialisation.”

SAF is an alternative to conventional jet fuel that, on a lifecycle basis, reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with air travel compared to conventional jet fuel alone. According to United, to date it has invested in the future production of more than five billion gallons of SAF, more than any other airline.

United Airlines SAF

(Photo United Airlines)