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First SAF-powered Emirates flights take off from Dubai

First SAF-powered Emirates flights take off from Dubai
6 Nov 2023 15:50

The first Emirates flights operating with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) provided by Shell Aviation have taken off from Dubai International Airport (DXB). Emirates’ flight EK 412 bound for Sydney on October 24 was among the first to operate with SAF.

Shell has supplied 315,000 gallons of blended SAF for use at the airline’s hub in Dubai. This first-ever supply of SAF to Emirates in Dubai has enabled the airline to power a number of missions over the course of the last few weeks.

The blended SAF supplied by Shell into the DXB airport fuelling system comprised a ratio of 40 percent neat SAF and 60 per cent conventional Jet A-1 fuel. The chemical characteristics at this ratio are identical to conventional jet fuel, and can seamlessly be integrated into the existing airport fuel infrastructure as well as in the engines of the entire Emirates fleet with no modifications required.



In its neat form, SAF reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 per cent over its life cycle when compared with conventional jet fuel. Emirates has also been tracking the delivery, use and environmental benefits of SAF through Avelia, Shell Aviation’s blockchain-powered book and claim solution.

Sir Tim Clark, President of 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 minimise 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.”

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, and the airline is currently using the Avelia platform to enable transparent tracking of the environmental benefits of SAF for its customers.

They will also be exploring ways to enhance the travel experience by offering personalised products relevant to today’s corporate travellers through new technologies including New Distribution Capabilities (NDC). Emirates’ development of these new options in NDC provide Shell with the opportunity to be an early adopter of this technology.

Emirates’ longstanding efforts have been and continue to be rooted in tangible, meaningful actions across 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 $200 million fund for research and development (RD) projects focussed on reducing the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation, representing one of the biggest single commitments of any airline on sustainability. Over the next three years, Emirates will identify partnerships with leading organisations working on solutions in advanced fuel and energy technologies.

Emirates operated the region’s first 100 per cent 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, its performance, safety and reliability, supporting standardisation and future certification of 100 per cent SAF, which is currently not yet approved for regular commercial use.

The airline first began using SAF in 2017, when it uplifted it on a flight from Chicago, and since then, flights from Stockholm, Paris, Lyon and Oslo have also operated with blended SAF.

Emirates participates in a range of industry and UAE government working groups, along with ongoing stakeholder engagements to help scale the production and supply of sustainable aviation fuel.

Source: WAM
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