UK-based Shell has agreed a deal with Qatar Airways to provide the airline with 3,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
SAF is a biologically derived alternative to conventional jet fuel. Depending on how it is produced, it can reduce the emissions associated with air travel, and it can be blended at up to 50% with traditional jet fuel for use in current aircraft. Shell, which also makes lubricants like gear oil, claims its SAF can reduce lifecycle emissions by up to 80%. The new deal will see Qatar Airways using 5% SAF over the 2023-2024 fiscal year as it progresses to using 10% SAF by 2030.
While this may not seem a huge proportion, SAF is still much more expensive than traditional jet fuel. Gradually increasing its use will enable providers like Shell to invest in developing new production methods and scaling up production and distribution. Shell Aviation President Jan Toschka said about this agreement:
“SAF is a key lever for decarbonising aviation, but scaling its supply and use requires concerted action from across the aviation sector. Today’s agreement is a great example of the collaborative actions that are required to help accelerate aviation’s progress towards net zero.”
His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, the Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Group, reiterated his company’s commitment to supporting the uptake of SAF in the aviation sector, saying it was a key pillar in decarbonising the industry, although the various stakeholders need to collaborate to develop the technology.