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Q8Aviation, easyJet, Gatwick, and Neste partner in first SAF at Gatwick

With the first one departing today, a total of 42 easyJet flights operating from London's Gatwick Airport (LGA), the second-largest airport in the UK, are to be powered by a 30 percent Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blend. This milestone marks the first time a departing flight at Gatwick has used sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and is also the first usage by any easyJet service.

With the first one departing today, a total of 42 easyJet flights operating from London’s Gatwick Airport (LGA), the second-largest airport in the UK, are to be powered by a 30 percent Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blend. This milestone marks the first time a departing flight at Gatwick has used sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and is also the first usage by any easyJet service (photo courtesy easyJet).

The collaboration “confirms the strong commitment” of all parties involved – international aviation fuel supplier Q8Aviation, air carrier easyJet plc, Gatwick Airport Ltd, and renewable fuel producer Neste Oyj – to achieve a net carbon emission reduction in the fuel used in aviation and work towards an ultimate goal for aviation to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

SAF for Glasgow COP26 flights

Of the 42 flights running on Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel blend, 39 of these will be the easyJet flights operating from Gatwick to Glasgow (GLA) throughout the COP26 Climate Conference, which runs from October 31 to November 12, 2021.

Across all 42 flights, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) will be reduced by up to 70 tonnes which further signals the industry’s intentions to reduce GHG emissions on a course to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

At easyJet, we want to play our part to lead the decarbonisation of aviation. We’re pleased to announce that today we’re operating using SAF in a proof of concept flight from Gatwick, having also committed to using a SAF blend on all flights operating from Gatwick to Glasgow throughout COP26, thanks to a collaborative effort with our partners involved in this project. The availability of SAF still needs to grow but they will be an important interim solution in our decarbonisation pathway, while we are supporting the development of zero-emission aircraft, which will be the most sustainable solution for short-haul networks such as our own in the long term. In the meantime, we are operating our flights as efficiently as possible and are currently the only major European airline to offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all our flights, which has an impact right now, said Jane Ashton, Director of Sustainability at easyJet.

Q8Aviation, part of the international division of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (Q8), has delivered the first supply of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel to the fuel supply at Gatwick Airport.

The sixth-largest supplier of aviation fuel in the world, Q8Aviation operates a jet fuel service at many of the world’s top international airports supplying over 5 billion litres annually.

We are delighted to play our part in supplying the first sustainable aviation fuel to easyJet at Gatwick. We have forged a strong partnership with easyJet over many years, and benefit from excellent support from Gatwick Airport Ltd and Neste, and look forward to working closely with all the partners to further our sustainability objectives, said Naser Ben Butain, General Manager Q8Aviation.

Neste’s market-leading SAF, which is fully certified, is produced from 100 percent renewable and sustainable waste and residue raw materials, such as used cooking oil (UCO) and animal fat waste.

According to Neste, in its neat form and over its life cycle, its MY SAF can achieve a reduction of up to 80 percent GHG emissions compared to fossil jet fuel use, calculated as per established life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies including EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

The aviation industry has already taken important steps to reduce its environmental impact. A key element in achieving this is the wider introduction of sustainable aviation fuel. Neste is investing as we speak to increase SAF production capacity from 100 000 metric tonnes to 1.5 million metric tonnes annually in 2023. Neste welcomes government proposals to encourage the use of SAF to reduce aviation greenhouse gas emissions. It is important that more and more airlines, airports, and fuel suppliers lead the way to a more sustainable future for aviation. We are happy to welcome easyJet, Q8Aviation, and Gatwick Airport among these frontrunners said Jonathan Wood, VP Europe, Renewable Aviation at Neste.

First electric hydrant system

Neste’s SAF is blended with Jet A-1 fuel at a depot upstream of Gatwick Airport to create a drop-in fuel that is compatible with existing aircraft engines and the airport infrastructure, without requiring extra investment.

Q8Aviation delivered the fuel to the main storage tanks at Gatwick Airport for supply to easyJet aircraft via the airport’s hydrant system.

easyJet, in partnership with World Fuel Services, has introduced an electric hydrant dispenser at the airport which will serve its fleet of 71 aircraft at Gatwick.

The new electric hydrant dispenser is the first in the UK and adds to the electric ground services equipment already supporting easyJet aircraft operations at Gatwick Airport.

We congratulate easyJet and Gatwick Airport’s vision to expand beyond SAF and to decarbonise the aircraft turnaround. We’re committed to helping every customer reach their sustainability goals. For easyJet, we designed and sourced an electric hydrant dispenser. Previously for Gatwick Airport, we provided Airport Carbon Accreditation consulting. World Fuel is unique because we can provide end-to-end solutions in-house through our sustainability division, World Kinect Energy Services, said Duncan Storey, VP, Supply Aviation Europe at World Fuel Services.

The incorporation of SAF into Gatwick’s operations for today’s flight is an important proof of concept for the airport in demonstrating its continued commitment to work with its aviation partners on decarbonization.

Gatwick’s own 2019 carbon footprint showed that the airport is already halfway to net zero for its own operations and is committed to achieving Net Zero direct emissions by 2040.

We are very pleased to work with easyJet, Q8Aviation and Neste to demonstrate SAF use at Gatwick Airport. SAF is one of several ways that UK aviation and Gatwick will reach net zero carbon by 2050, alongside carbon offsets, airspace modernization and continued innovation in aerospace technology, including electric, hydrogen and hybrid aircraft systems. With smart Government policy to underpin investment in cost-competitive UK SAF production, many more flights could be using UK produced SAF by the mid-2020s, said Tim Norwood, Director of Corporate Affairs, Planning and Sustainability of Gatwick Airport.

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