Qatar national air carrier Qatar Airways has announced that it has signed a new sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) offtake agreement with US-headed sustainable fuels producer Gevo, Inc. The airline has committed to purchasing 25 million US gallons (≈ 95 million litres) of neat SAF over the course of five years with deliveries expected to commence in 2028 at various airports in California (CA).
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According to a statement, Qatar Airways will be uplifting 5 million US gallons (≈ 19 million litres) of neat SAF every year and will blend it with its existing supply of conventional jet fuel.
The airline became the first airline in the Middle East and Africa region to announce its commitment to an international SAF offtake agreement, which is subject to certain conditions precedent, including Gevo developing, financing, and constructing one or more production facilities to produce the SAF contemplated by the agreement.
Qatar Airways continues to prioritize our commitment to net-zero flying by the middle of this century. Decarbonizing aviation requires a gradual incorporation of lower carbon and sustainable aviation fuels, and we are proud to collaborate on this global effort for a better future, said HE Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Group.
The airline says that it has made “significant progress” toward achieving environmental sustainability and decarbonization, flying with one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the sky.
It is the first airline in the Middle East to secure accreditation to the highest level in the IATA Environmental Assessment Programme (IEnvA) and is the first carrier to join the IATA CO2NNECT platform offering a new voluntary carbon offsetting program for air cargo shipments, continuing to advance an ambitious agenda to demonstrate environmental leadership across the global aviation industry.
Builds on oneworld Alliance commitment
This partnership is part of the airline’s earlier commitment, along with other oneworld Alliance members to purchase up to 200 million US gallons (≈ 757 million litres) of SAF from Gevo announced in March 2022.
Joining forces with fellow oneworld members, we are supporting Gevo to establish its SAF-producing facilities in order to ramp up SAF supply and get closer to our goal of replacing 10 percent of our conventional jet fuel with SAF by 2030, he added.
SAF is seen as one of the pillars of Qatar Airways and oneworld Alliance’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
In September 2020, oneworld became the first global airline alliance to unite behind a common target to achieve carbon neutrality with net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The alliance subsequently committed to a target of 10 percent sustainable aviation fuel use across the alliance by 2030.
Supports Gevo’s one billion gallon goal
According to Gevo, the agreement with Qatar Airways will further enhance Gevo’s global footprint for its sustainable fuel products and also supports Gevo’s efforts in pursuit of its stated goal of producing and commercializing a billion gallons (3.8 billion litres) of SAF by 2030.
By working with farmers on regenerative agricultural practices, Gevo can sustainability source feedstock to produce sustainable aviation fuel, while also increasing soil health, sequestering carbon, and providing nutritional products to the food chain, said Dr Patrick R. Gruber, CEO of Gevo.
Qatar Airways says that it is “very keen to ramp up the use of SAF at a commercial level”, noting that the SAF to be purchased will be certified under the sustainability criteria laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Compared with fossil-based jet fuel, SAF results in the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions across its lifecycle.
Today’s technology allows for CO2 reductions from the use of SAF to reach 85 percent when compared to conventional jet fuel.
By building sustainability into every step of our business system, from sustainably grown feedstock to using renewable energy for production, we are helping Qatar Airways and other members of the oneworld alliance to reach their emission reduction goals, ended Dr Patrick R. Gruber.