Emirates Airlines recently made a significant step towards sustainability by using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on one of their flights. Specifically, on October 24th, flight EK 412, headed for Sydney, became one of the first flights to operate with SAF.
To make this possible, Shell, a renowned energy company, supplied Emirates with 315,000 gallons of blended SAF at Dubai’s airport. The blend comprised 40% SAF and 60% conventional Jet A-1 fuel. This blend has the same chemical characteristics as regular jet fuel. Because of this, it can effortlessly integrate into the existing airport fuel system. It can also power Emirates’ fleet of planes without needing any modifications.
SAF, in its concentrated form, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% throughout its life cycle when compared to regular jet fuel. Emirates has diligently monitored the use of SAF and its environmental advantages through Avelia, a state-of-the-art blockchain-powered platform developed by Shell Aviation. This innovative solution allows for secure tracking of fuel delivery and ensures the proper claim of environmental benefits.
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said: “We’re pushing ahead with proactive measures to enable more sustainable flying now and in the future, and powering flights from our Dubai hub is just one of the steps we’ve taken to reduce emissions and concretely help our customers minimize their own carbon footprint. We still have a long road ahead, and we hope that our partnership with Shell Aviation inspires more producers to address the supply gaps and make SAF readily available in major hubs like Dubai, as well as other points on our network.”
Jan Toschka, President of Shell Aviation, said: “Emirates and Shell have a long-standing history of collaboration, and we are thrilled to continue this journey together to enable SAF usage in the UAE. This first-ever supply of SAF to Emirates in Dubai is an example of what can be achieved when different parts of the aviation value chain come together. Our hope is that this milestone will inspire further advancements in SAF adoption throughout the aviation industry in the UAE and the wider region.”
Emirates & Shell Sign MOU for Sustainable Travel
Earlier this year, Emirates and Shell signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore areas of collaboration around sustainable travel and technology-driven travel experiences. Emirates and Shell agreed to jointly evaluate mechanisms to reduce travel emissions for Shell’s business travel requirements. The airline is currently using the Avelia platform to enable transparent tracking of the environmental benefits of SAF for its customers. They will also explore ways to enhance the travel experience by offering personalized products relevant to today’s corporate travelers. To accomplish this, Emirates will rely on new technologies, including New Distribution Capabilities (NDC). Emirates’ development of these new options in NDC provides Shell with the opportunity to be an early adopter of this technology.
A Tangible, Meaningful Sustainability Strategy
Emirates’ longstanding efforts have been and continue to be rooted in tangible, meaningful actions. The airline has three focus areas that form its environmental framework: reducing emissions, consuming responsibly, and preserving wildlife and habitats. This year, the airline announced the establishment of a US$ 200 million fund for research and development (R&D) projects. These focus on reducing the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation. It represents one of the biggest single commitments of any airline on sustainability. Over the next three years, Emirates will identify partnerships with leading organizations working on solutions in advanced fuel and energy technologies.
Emirates operated the region’s first 100% SAF-powered demonstration flight in January. The airline has been actively championing to strengthen the body of research around the industry’s understanding of SAF use in higher blends. The aim is to ensure its performance, safety, and reliability, supporting standardization and future certification of 100% SAF. Neat SAF is not yet approved for regular commercial use.
The airline first began using SAF in 2017, uplifting it on a flight from Chicago. Since then, flights from Stockholm, Paris, Lyon, and Oslo have also operated with blended SAF.
Emirates participates in industry and UAE government working groups, along with ongoing stakeholder engagements. These collaborations aim to help scale the production and supply of sustainable aviation fuel.
80% reduced emissions are based on using SAF in the neat form (i.e., unblended). They are calculated with established life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies, such as the CORSIA methodology
Scope 3 includes all indirect emissions that occur in the value chain of a reporting company.