Canada-based air carrier WestJet has revealed that it has operated the airline’s second ever sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) flight with the departure of WestJet flight WS1681 out of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Calgary International Airport (YYC) on September 26, 2022.
In collaboration with renewable fuels major Neste Oyj and distributor Avfuel Corporation (Avfuel), the departure of WS1681 coincided with the end of New York’s UN General Assembly and Climate Week NYC where world leaders gathered to discuss critical issues facing the environment, including the need to decarbonize and reduce global emissions.
Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) holds enormous potential to decarbonize aviation and WestJet is committed to furthering our investments in this space to reduce our environmental footprint for years to come. Today’s SAF flight highlights our commitment and continued efforts to advance SAF as the low carbon fuel standard for aviation and help educate our passengers and stakeholders about its benefits, said Gareth Lewis, Director of Sustainability & ESG, WestJet.
WestJet purchased 4 500 (US) gallons (≈ 17 000 litres) of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel from Avfuel for the September 26 flight, providing an approximate 11 tonnes reduction in carbon emissions over the fuel’s lifecycle.
The partnership between Neste, the world’s largest SAF producer, and Avfuel made the SAF flight possible.
We are thankful to both companies for bringing the Avfuel team in to help facilitate this milestone transaction. It’s a testament to WestJet’s commitment to environmentally responsible operations, and indicative of Avfuel and Neste’s reach for facilitating sustainable operations together, said Keith Sawyer, Manager of Alternative Fuels at Avfuel.
Part of ESG strategy
As WestJet furthers efforts to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the airline is committed to growing responsibly and encouraging a SAF ecosystem to increase production in North America.
SAF is a major pillar of WestJet’s Environmental Social Governance (ESG) strategy and is a key component in the roadmap to decarbonize aviation and provide lower emission flights for its guests.
Along with the SAF flight, WestJet has focused on a number of sustainability initiatives, including operating one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient aircraft fleets in North America; investing in fuel-efficient aircraft engines and blended winglet technology; using advanced RNP approach software technology to make efficient aircraft landing approaches, and implementing gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards at its corporate head office.