• Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic to receive SAF delivery at London Heathrow


Photo: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic is one step closer to its sustainable fuel target, thanks to an agreement with Neste Corp. to supply 2.5 million liters (660,430 gallons) of neat sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which will be delivered in the first half of 2022 to London Heathrow.


The agreement forms part of a wider collaboration between Virgin Atlantic and Neste, a leading provider of SAF, to increase the availability and use of SAF in the U.K.


Virgin Atlantic and Neste are working with ExxonMobil on this delivery of SAF into the U.K. ExxonMobil is already Virgin Atlantic’s largest fuel supplier at London Heathrow.


Virgin Atlantic has had a track record as a sustainability leader for more than a decade and is committed to achieving net zero by 2050. Right now, the whole of its fleet is twin-engine aircraft—and 70 percent of those are next generation, making it one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies. This follows a multibillion-dollar fleet renewal program that has already delivered a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions between 2007 and 2019.


The agreement with Neste represents the first commercial supply of SAF for Virgin Atlantic, following its long-standing commitment to SAF and operation of the first commercial aircraft to use sustainable fuels in 2008.


“After fleet renewal, SAF represents the greatest opportunity to decarbonize aviation in the short to medium term,” said Holly Boyd-Boland, vice president of corporate development for Virgin Atlantic. “This supply is the beginning of commercial SAF at scale for Virgin Atlantic and whilst only enough to operate 140 flights between London and New York, it’s a starting point. To meet our 10 percent SAF target in 2030 we need to deliver this volume more than 70 times over, requiring cross industry and government action to support commercialization of SAF at scale, particularly in the U.K. We will continue to work closely with Neste and ExxonMobil, as well as wider industry partners, to find innovative solutions to achieve this goal.”

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