Aer Lingus signs deal for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) supply


Airline to purchase 19,000 tonnes of SAF each year for five years as part of agreement, reports Shauna McCrudden

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Aer Lingus has signed a sustainable aviation fuel supply agreement with Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO), the US-based renewable fuels producer. Gevo’s mission is to transform renewable energy and carbon into energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons. 

The agreement will see the purchase of 19,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel per year for five years and is a significant step by the airline in its commitment to a lower-carbon future. 

As part of IAG, Aer Lingus has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and has committed to powering 10% of its flights using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030. 

The introduction of SAF as a renewable fuel source is instrumental for the airline in realising its ambitions. Aer Lingus plans to commence fuelling its aircraft with SAF from Gevo from 2026.

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The supply agreement will see Aer Lingus purchase enough SAF to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions by at least 180,000 tonnes, the equivalent of powering 1,000 net zero CO2 emissions flights between Dublin and Los Angeles on an A330 aircraft.  

Lynne Embleton, Aer Lingus Chief Executive Officer, said, “This agreement with Gevo marks an exciting and critical step on our journey to net zero carbon emissions and underlines our commitment to powering 10% of flights using sustainable aviation fuel by 2030. 

“The sustainable aviation fuel produced by Gevo will be used to power our flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and from 2026, 50% of the fuel purchased by Aer Lingus from California will be sustainable aviation fuel.”

Just last month, Aer Lingus signed a lease agreement for two new Airbus A320neo aircraft which will see this new generation aircraft joining Aer Lingus’ fleet for the very first time. Investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft, along with sustainable aviation fuel, is another key driver of Aer Lingus’ sustainability programme.

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Other initiatives adopted by the airline to drive sustainability include a carbon offsetting tool which enables Aer Lingus customers to offset their flight emissions and support a range of global carbon reduction projects – such as rainforest protection and reforestation programmes. 

Other sustainable milestones include being awarded a Stage 1 IEnVA certification in June 2021, an environmental management and evaluation system, replacing plastic cutlery packs with packs made from birch wood, a sustainable material, resulting in a reduction of almost 23 tonnes of single-use plastics per year, and reducing fuel burn during take-off and landing which saves 8.6 kg of fuel per flight on take-off and up to 5.4 kg of fuel per flight on landing.

Dr. Patrick R. Gruber, Gevo’s Chief Executive Officer, added, “Gevo’s sustainable aviation fuel delivers renewable energy to a transportation sector that is actively seeking to reduce its carbon intensity. 

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“Because our fuel is fungible and drop-in ready, it’s expected to have an immediate impact to help our partner airlines achieve their sustainability targets ahead of schedule.” 

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