International Airlines Group to power 10% of its flights with SAF by 2030
Updated: Apr 26, 2021
International Airlines Group, owner of British Airways, has become the first European airline group to commit to powering 10 percent of its flights with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030.
The group will purchase 1 million metric tons of SAF per year enabling it to cut its annual emissions by 2 million tons by 2030. This equates to removing 1 million cars from Europe’s roads each year.
In addition, IAG will become the first airline group worldwide to extend its net-zero commitment to its supply chain. The group will be working with its suppliers to enable them to commit to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 for the products and services they provide to IAG.
“For more than a decade, IAG has led the airline industry’s actions to reduce its carbon footprint,” said Luis Gallego, IAG´s chief executive. “It’s clearly challenging to transition to a low carbon business model but, despite the current pandemic, we remain resolute in our climate commitments. Government support is critical to meet this target by attracting investment to construct sustainable aviation fuel plants that will deliver enough supply for the airline industry, creating highly valued green jobs and economic growth at global scale.”
Grant Shapps, U.K. transport secretary, said, “Just this week we’ve set the world’s most ambitious climate change target, and IAG’s agenda-setting commitment is clear evidence of the progress we are making. These kinds of initiatives, along with our work through the Jet Zero Council, will help us rapidly accelerate towards our net zero targets as we build back better out of the pandemic.”
With the right policy in place in the next 10 years, up to 14 plants could be built across the U.K., creating 6,500 jobs and saving 3.6 million tons of CO2 per annum. SAF produces at least 70 percent less carbon emissions than fossil fuel.
IAG is investing USD$400 million in the development of SAF in the next 20 years. The group is partnering with SAF developers, LanzaJet and Velocys. This includes Europe’s first household waste-to-jet fuel plant in the U.K., which will start operations in 2025. British Airways will also purchase SAF from LanzaJet’s U.S. plant to power some of its flights from late 2022.
IAG was the first airline group worldwide to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and is one of the 10 global companies recognized by the United Nations for its ambitious carbon targets.