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  • International Air Transport Association

Aviation industry showcases SAF initiative during Summit of the Americas


The International Air Transport Association announced June 6 that airlines from the Americas region are operating flights powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to demonstrate their commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Under the initiative, Boeing, Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Westjet are purchasing 100,000 gallons of SAF for commercial flights departing Los Angeles International Airport during the IX Summit of the Americas, reducing emissions by 472,500 pounds (214,300 kilos) of CO2. The fuel is being supplied by World Energy.

This initiative is being undertaken in conjunction with an IATA hosted roundtable aligned with the summit’s theme of building a sustainable, resilient, and equitable future. Various industry leaders and experts will be discussing two main topics: “The Road to Net Zero—and How Do We Get There?” and “Policy Perspectives for Effective Energy Transition and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Commercialization.”

The global air transport industry adopted a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 in October 2021. Attaining this will require a combination of maximum elimination of emissions at the source, carbon offsetting, radical new aircraft and engine technology, and carbon-capture technologies. SAF could represent up to 65 percent of the emissions reduction pathway set forth by the industry, highlighting the vital importance of SAF production and use.

This will require a massive increase in production in order to meet demand as SAF is either not commercially developed in most countries or produced at a small scale across the Americas. Worldwide, aviation-industry demand for SAF will reach 330 to 445 million tons by 2050. Momentum among airlines, airplane manufacturers, fuel producers, and NGO partners to work collectively towards achieving net-zero goals already exists. However, according to IATA, governmental support is essential to develop policies that efficiently accelerate the commercial production and deployment of SAF.

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