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  • Ron Kotrba

Southwest Airlines adds sustainable aviation fuel to operations at Oakland International Airport

Southwest Airlines announced in late August that, through a collaboration with Neste Corp., the airline has begun using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in its operations at Oakland International Airport.

Southwest Airlines added that it is the first carrier to bring SAF to Oakland.

Photo: Southwest Airlines

“SAF is crucial to decarbonizing aviation and to meeting our environmental sustainability goals,” the airline stated. “The SAF we use in Oakland comes from our partner Neste, a leading producer of renewable fuels, and is made from renewable and sustainably sourced raw materials, including used cooking oil and animal waste fat. Adding Neste’s SAF to our operation is a seamless process, because after blending with conventional jet fuel in accordance with applicable industry standards, it is compatible with both our existing aircraft as well as Oakland’s current airport infrastructure. Oakland is the third commercial airport in the United States to have SAF incorporated into the daily operations of a major U.S. airline, and we are excited that Southwest is a part of that milestone.”

Southwest Airlines is also engaging with corporate customers on SAF “beta” partnership agreements supporting utilization of qualifying SAF in its operations.

“These important partners purchase certain scope 3 emissions-reduction rights resulting from Southwest’s use of SAF, contributing towards the cost premium of SAF over conventional jet fuel,” the airline stated.

In Southwest’s 10-year environmental sustainability plan, the airline sets the goal to replace 10 percent of its total jet-fuel consumption with SAF by 2030—an important step toward its long-term goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Over the past 12 months, Southwest has been working with a number of partners and organizations to work towards our SAF goal and advance the development of commercially viable and scalable SAF,” the airline said.

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