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  • to use sustainable aviation fuel at London Stansted Airport

Photo: announced April 16 that it will use a blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at London Stansted Airport in 2024, meaning the leading leisure airline will use SAF on departing flights from two U.K. airports in 2024—almost a year ahead of the U.K. government’s SAF mandate, which is due to be introduced in 2025. 


The U.K.’s third-largest airline has purchased approximately 650 metric tons of SAF from Shell Aviation, which will be used to add a 1 percent SAF blend onto a number of departing flights from London Stansted Airport this year. 


When used in its neat form, SAF can reduce lifecycle-carbon emissions by up to 80 percent compared to using conventional jet fuel. 


The April 16 announcement follows revealing just last month that it will use a blend of SAF at Bristol Airport in 2024.


Across the two airports, has purchased approximately 1,000 tons of SAF. 


Using a SAF blend in 2024 means that can prepare its operation ahead of the U.K. SAF mandate, which will be introduced Jan. 1, 2025.


As part of this mandate, fuel suppliers have set a target that at least 10 percent of jet fuel should be made from SAF by 2030.  


SAF is recognized as one of the best methods to decarbonize aviation in the short to medium term, including recently by the Transport Select Committee, which stated, “Sustainable aviation fuels are the most viable option for the immediate reduction of aviation emissions.”  


Jet2 plc has already made an equity investment into a new SAF production plant to be constructed in the North West of England—one of the first such deals in U.K. aviation.


The Fulcrum NorthPoint facility, being developed by Fulcrum BioEnergy Ltd., will operate as a waste-to-fuels plant, with set to receive more than 200 million liters (52.8 million gallons) of SAF once operational.


The plant will also generate up to 1,500 jobs, benefiting the national and local economy. 


This investment in SAF is just part of and Jet2holidays’ journey to net zero by 2050, in line with government targets, although the company said it aspires to bring this date forward.

The company has published a sustainability strategy, which outlines its targets and actions, with an update due to be released this year. 

Pledges in the strategy include the purchase of 110 firm ordered Airbus A320/A321 neo aircraft, which could eventually extend up to 146 aircraft, making traveling with and Jet2holidays more efficient by further reducing emissions per passenger.


To date, the company has taken delivery of seven of these new aircraft.


In addition, Jet2holidays has recently launched a brand-new hotel sustainability labeling scheme, meaning that customers and independent travel agents can easily find and choose from a collection of certified sustainable hotels that meet Global Sustainable Tourism Council recognized standards.


Despite Jet2’s investments into SAF, without a full-fledged domestic SAF industry, the U.K. remains reliant on fuel imported at a high cost or requires airlines to pay a buy-out price, putting U.K. airlines and holidaymakers at a competitive disadvantage. 


“Today’s announcement further demonstrates the tangible actions that we are taking to mitigate our climate impacts, and it means will be using a blend of SAF from London Stansted in 2024, in addition to Bristol Airport,” said Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays. “We see SAF as critical in helping the industry decarbonize and as well as doing this, we can use this to ensure our operations are ready for SAF uptake both now and in the future, when we anticipate its use will grow materially. We very much see 1 percent as the starting point and we want to grow this over the coming years.”


He added, “Today’s announcement, in addition to our investment into a new SAF plant in the North West of England, shows how committed we are to SAF and how much we believe in unlocking its huge potential. Unfortunately, there is still some way to go and without more supplies of U.K. SAF and greater support to incentivize its uptake and reduce its cost, our industry and U.K. holidaymakers are at a disadvantage. The U.K. government must implement the price-revenue mechanism earlier than the current timeline of 2026, which means we can secure investor confidence, build the U.K. SAF plants that we need, and turbocharge the U.K. SAF industry.” 


Ashleigh McDougall, Shell Aviation’s general manager for Europe and Africa, said, “It is fantastic to support on its journey to reduce emissions through the use of SAF. SAF is a key lever for decarbonizing aviation, but scaling its supply and use requires concerted effort from across the aviation sector. Today’s announcement is a great example of the collaborative actions that are required to drive forward the use of SAF and help decarbonize flight.” 


Neil Robinson, Manchester Airports Group’s corporate social responsibility and future airspace director, added, “Today’s announcement by is really excellent news given the vital role SAF will play in taking carbon out of the aviation industry. Our focus at London Stansted is to continue driving forward on our commitment to reach net-zero carbon operations by 2038, and supporting the development of more sustainable aviation fuel to help aviation reach net zero by 2050.’s introduction of SAF at Stansted is another positive development in driving down carbon emissions and we look forward to working with them to build on this great start.” 



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