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Korean Air to use Shell’s sustainable aviation fuel starting in 2026


Photo: Korean Air

Korean Air has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with global energy company Shell to purchase its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The MOU explores the supply and purchase of SAF from Shell at major airports in Asia Pacific and the Middle East from 2026 for five years.

SAF is derived from alternative raw materials such as used cooking oil, household waste and industrial waste gas.



From production to consumption, sustainably produced SAF may reduce carbon emissions by up to 80 percent compared to existing fossil-derived aviation fuel.

SAF has surfaced as an important carbon-reduction tool in the aviation industry to cope with global climate change, and efforts to boost SAF production and distribution have gained momentum from targeted investment and policy support in the U.S. and EU. However, with shortage of production facilities and high costs, supply falls short of expected demand.

Korean Air will work with Shell and continue to expand cooperation with other global oil companies to secure a SAF supply for other regions including Europe and the U.S.

In November 2017, Korean Air became the first Korean airline to use SAF on a flight departing from Chicago, Illinois, to Incheon, South Korea.



In February this year, the airline also started using SAF on flights from Paris, France, to Incheon.

Last year, the airline partnered with Korea’s leading petroleum and refinery companies, Hyundai Oilbank and SK Energy, to adopt SAF and carbon-neutral jet fuel.

In February this year, Korean Air also signed a memorandum of understanding with Incheon International Airport Corporation, Airbus, and Air Liquide to cooperate on supplying aviation hydrogen fuel and developing relevant infrastructure in Korea.



Korean Air stated it will continue to collaborate with partners to proactively respond to climate change by reducing carbon emissions.

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