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British Airways heralds ‘breakthrough moment’ in sustainable jet fuel

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British Airways has become the first airline to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced on a commercial scale in the UK.

The carrier announced it has taken delivery of the first batch of SAF produced at the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery near Immingham, Lincolnshire.

It has been added to pipelines providing fuel to several airports including Heathrow.

The SAF is being produced at Phillips 66’s Humber Refinery near Immingham, Lincolnshire.

British Airways has agreed to purchase enough of the fuel to reduce its lifecycle CO2 emissions by nearly 100,000 tonnes, which could power the equivalent of 700 net zero flights between London and New York.

SAF production reduces carbon emissions by around 80% compared with traditional jet fuel, but is currently more expensive.

It can be blended with standard aviation fuel at up to 50%.

British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle said: “Being the first airline to source sustainable aviation fuel produced at commercial scale in the UK is another breakthrough moment for us and the airline industry.

“Our supplies of SAF from Phillips 66 Limited will allow us to progress with our ambitious road map to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner and will play a role in our commitment, as part of International Airlines Group (IAG), to power 10% of flights with SAF by 2030.

“Progressing the development and commercial scale-up of sustainable aviation fuel will be a game changer and crucial to reducing the aviation sector’s reliance on fossil fuels and improving the UK’s energy supply resilience.

“I’m confident that Britain can take a leading role on the global stage in this space, creating green jobs and export opportunities, if industry, developers and Government continue to collaborate and make it a key focus area.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s great to see British Airways is the first airline in the world that started using sustainable aviation fuel produced at scale in the UK – an important milestone towards our ambitious Jet Zero targets.

“The fact it’s being produced here in the UK is a perfect demonstration how Britain continues to be a pioneer in developing green aviation technology and the Government will meet its 2050 net zero target.

“We can create thousands of green jobs while reducing the impact that flying has on the environment, so we can continue to connect and travel in a greener way.”

Mr Shapps launched the Jet Zero Council in June 2020, bringing together ministers and aviation leaders to work on reducing the sector’s carbon emissions, with the aim of developing a zero-emission transatlantic flight “within a generation”.

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