• Neste Corp.

Malaysia Airlines operates inaugural flight on SAF


Photo: Martijn Gijsbertsen

Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier of Malaysia, operated its inaugural flight using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) Dec. 17 in partnership with Petronas Dagangan Berhad and Neste Corp. The flight marks Malaysia Airlines’ commitment to make SAF the cleaner and more viable energy option for regular flights by 2025.

The historic flight MH7979 utilizing the Airbus 330-200 aircraft departed Amsterdam Airport Schiphol at 12:55 pm local time using a blend mixture of approximately 38 percent SAF made from recycled material such as used cooking oil, and arrived in Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 09:00 am local time.

This successful operation was a result of the supply deal between Petco Trading (UK) Ltd., which is Petronas’ marketing and trading arm in Europe, and renewable diesel and SAF producer Neste.

Malaysia Airlines via its parent, Malaysia Aviation Group, recently partnered with PDB to jointly explore potential collaborative opportunities that advance sustainability, including the supply and adoption of SAF at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. They also aim to strengthen awareness in aviation sustainability through a united communication and advocacy strategy around carbon emission reduction. In addition to using SAF, preparations for this flight were done with GE Digital’s FlightPulse® and Fuel Insight software that assisted the flight crew in planning for efficient fuel procedures during the flight. The data logged during the flight will be processed and analyzed to help the operations team better understand the opportunities to operate a more sustainable flight. “Building on the momentum from our net-zero emissions commitment earlier this year, we are proud to have crossed the significant landmark of operating the first Malaysian flight using sustainable aviation fuel,” said Izham Ismail, CEO of Malaysia Aviation Group. “Moving forward, we expect SAF to be a key component of our strategy to deliver a more sustainable travel experience for our customers. With the completion of today’s significant first step, we are committed to working towards having a viable SAF supply chain here in Malaysia, and we believe the only way we could reach this goal is through strategic collaboration and support from our stakeholders.” Azrul Osman Rani, PDB’s managing director and CEO, said, “Today marks a significant milestone in our partnership of more than two decades with Malaysia Airlines. In line with Petronas’ net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 aspiration and our continued efforts to make sustainable energy more accessible, we have been providing cleaner energy solutions including EV chargers, liquefied natural gas, solar solutions and other renewable energy to support our partners and customers in achieving their emissions reduction ambitions. With SAF now proven to be a feasible alternative for commercial flights, we are excited to continue making headways in this decarbonization journey.”

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