Smoke On Go

Qantas forms SAF alliance

Qantas, the Australian international and domestic Airline has teamed up with five of its major corporate customers to contribute towards the cost of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for flights departing from London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Images: Qantas Media

A Qantas spokesman said that “Members will pay a premium to reduce around 900 tons of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated from their staff flying each year by contributing to the incremental cost of SAF, rather than using traditional carbon offsets.”

The following major companies are founding members of Qantas’ SAF coalition program: Australian investment bank Macquarie Group, Australia Post, Boston Consulting, KPMG Australia, and Woodside Energy.

Apparently members will pay for the incremental cost of up to 10 million litres of SAF sourced by Qantas at LHR, which is around 15% of the fuel consumed by the carrier on flights out of London. 

From 2025, member contribution will rise to a further 20 million litres of SAF each year sourced from Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Last year in December 2121, Qantas announced that it will purchase blended SAF for its flights out of London starting January 2022. The airline signed an agreement with its strategic partner bp to purchase 10 million litres of SAF in 2022 with an option to purchase up to another 10 million litres in 2023 and 2024 for flights from London Heathrow Airport. 

Qantas says it is committed to using 10% SAF in its overall fuel mix by 2030 and around 60% by 2050.

Airbus is also working in partnership with Qantas to invest up to $200 million to boost the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry in Australia for a five year period, signed in in Doha on June 19, 2022.

The use of SAF is on the rise as a way for airlines to reduce CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

As there is no commercial-scale SAF industry in Australia, Qantas is having to source its requirements of the fuel from overseas by exporting millions of tonnes of feedstock every year to be made into SAF in other countries.  This then is imported back into Australia. Not a very economical model at present, and thus needs to change.

“Without swift action, Australia is at risk of being left behind,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce commented in a press release. “With this investment, Qantas and Airbus are putting our money where our mouth is and betting on the innovation and ingenuity of Australian industry.”  

The Qantas and Airbus will provide funding to help produce SAF and feedstock projects.

All this is part of Project Sunrise, presently being run by Qantas, where Qantas will use long range aircraft, like Airbus A350-1000s with SAF blends on routes between  Sydney (SYD) to London (LHR) and New York (JFK). However, the airline has also discussed a list of other potential destinations in Europe and elsewhere. These flights are expected to begin between 2025 and 2028.

“This investment will help kickstart a local biofuels industry in Australia and hopefully encourage additional investment from governments and other businesses and build more momentum for the industry as a whole,” Joyce said. 

It is hoped that other airlines will follow suite. Airlines around the world are under pressure by environmental groups to work towards reducing CO2 emission, as presently airlines make up to 2.5% of global greenhouse emissions.




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