16 Apr 2024

Air NZ signs deal for sustainable jet fuel

9:27 am on 16 April 2024
Air New Zealand

Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

Air New Zealand has signed a deal to buy nine million litres of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) - its biggest deal for the green fuel.

The agreement with Finnish company Neste was announced as part of the Prime Minister's trade trip to South East Asia, with the fuel produced at Neste's Singapore refinery.

The SAF would be blended with conventional jet fuel and supplied to Los Angeles International Airport between 1 April and 30 November, the two companies said.

They said the SAF would likely reduce carbon emissions by up to 80 percent over the life cycle of the fuel compared to using fossil jet fuel, which included its production and transport emissions.

Air New Zealand chair Dame Therese Walsh, who was in Singapore as part of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon's business delegation to South East Asia, said decarbonising the airlines operations was "essential".

"Sustainable aviation fuel is currently the only solution to significantly reduce emissions from long-haul flight, but it currently makes up less than 1 percent of the global fuel supply," Dame Therese said.

"For aviation to reach its net zero carbon emissions goals by 2050, the SAF industry will need to scale significantly."

The supply of nine million litres would be relatively small compared to Air New Zealand's overall fuel usage.

The airline said its total fuel uptake between 1 April to 30 November across its network was expected to be 850 million litres.

"While the SAF supply is small compared with the airline's overall fuel use, it is nine times the size of Air New Zealand's first shipment of SAF from Neste in 2022 and demonstrates growing cooperation between two like-minded organisations to advance the supply and use of SAF," Dame Therese said.