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SAS offers passengers biojet fuel purchase option

Air carrier Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) has launched a new scheme whereby passengers can voluntarily choose to buy biojet fuel and so help reduce personal carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 80 percent. The new non-profit service aims to pioneer a large-scale and competitive market for biofuel within aviation, in line with SAS’ sustainability strategy.

SAS has launched a new scheme whereby passengers can voluntarily choose to buy biojet fuel and so help reduce personal carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 80 percent. The new non-profit service aims to pioneer a large-scale and competitive market for biofuel within aviation, in line with SAS’ sustainability strategy.

SAS is now launching a new ancillary product that gives travelers the option to reduce their climate impact. This means that travelers can purchase biofuel when booking a ticket, or at any time before departure.

We are continuously developing more sustainable products and services, including the option to buy biofuel. We are now inviting our travelers to be part of the transition to a more sustainable way of traveling, said Karl Sandlund, Executive Vice President Commercial, SAS.

Biojet fuel, which can reduce climate-affecting CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent compared to conventional jet fuel, is a key enabler to make flying more sustainable and reach SAS’ target to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 percent by 2030.

Stimulate commercial scale-up

The Scandinavian airline is pushing for large-scale production of advanced biofuel in Scandinavia and in July 2018, SAS and Swedish oil refiner Preem signed an agreement to jointly ensure the large-scale production of biofuel. The volumes being produced today are not enough and the price is 3-4 times higher than for conventional jet fuel.

In the short term, we believe that an important step in reducing climate impact is to increase the use of biofuel. This product makes it easier for our customers to contribute to this development. It also shows the additional costs of biofuel today and highlights the need for an increased supply of commercial biofuel, said Karl Sandlund.

20-minute airtime blocks

SAS has created a model where travelers can purchase biofuel corresponding to 20-minute blocks of flight time for one passenger. On a 60-minute flight, one 20-minute block of biofuel will correspond to a third of the average fuel consumption per passenger, based on an average flight. To buy extra biofuel for a ticket on a 60-minute flight, a traveler would have to purchase three blocks to cover the full flight time.

Travelers can buy biofuel when booking flight tickets, or at any other time before departure under ‘My bookings’. The amount of biofuel will not necessarily be used on the actual flight the traveler has bought a ticket for, but it will be used to replace fossil jet fuel to the equivalent amount in SAS’ operations.

The biofuel is delivered to SAS at the hubs in Stockholm (Sweden), Oslo (Norway), and Copenhagen (Denmark), or at a suitable airport as close as possible to the production facility.

Current international aviation regulations allow for up to 50 percent blend of an approved biofuel to be used per flight. All SAS aircraft are certified to be able to mix 50/50 fossil jet fuel and biofuel.

Prices (September 2019) are set at US$10/EUR 10 per block of biofuel though this is subject to change. SAS says that it makes no profit on the contribution from travelers and it will be added to the biofuels already purchased by SAS.

Furthermore, the company says that it only uses biofuel made from sources not affecting the availability of crops used in food production, access to potable water, biodiversity, and that use as small an area of land as possible.

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