Sustainability

Share this article

Future fuel: First Emirates SAF flight takes off from Dubai to Sydney

Emirates flight EK 412, bound for Sydney and operating with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), took off from Dubai International Airport (DXB) on 24 October and was the first to operate with SAF.

Emirates flight EK 412, bound for Sydney and operating with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), took off from Dubai International Airport (DXB) on 24 October and was the first to operate with SAF.

The blended SAF on the flight comprised a ratio of 40 per cent neat SAF and 60 per cent conventional Jet A-1 fuel.

The airline says the chemical characteristics at this ratio are identical to conventional jet fuel and can be seamlessly integrated into the existing airport fuel infrastructure and the engines of the entire Emirates fleet with no modifications required.

To date, Shell has supplied 315,000 gallons of blended SAF for use at the airline’s hub in Dubai. The airline says that this first-ever supply of SAF to Emirates in Dubai has enabled the airline to power several missions throughout the last few weeks.

In its neat form, SAF reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 per cent* over its life cycle compared to conventional jet fuel.

“We’re pushing ahead with proactive measures to enable more sustainable flying now and in the future, and powering flights from our Dubai hub is just one of the steps we’ve taken to reduce emissions and concretely help our customers minimise their own carbon footprint,” said Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airlines.

“We still have a long road ahead, and we hope that our partnership with Shell Aviation inspires more producers to address the supply gaps and make SAF readily available in major hubs like Dubai, as well as other points on our network.”

This year, Emirates announced the establishment of a US$200 million fund for research and development (R&D) projects focussed on reducing the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation, representing one of the most significant single commitments of any airline on sustainability.

Over the next three years, Emirates says it will identify partnerships with leading organisations working on solutions in advanced fuel and energy technologies.

When will you be able to fly on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)?

Emirates SAF Dubai 2

While flying on 100 per cent SAF is not yet approved for regular commercial use, Emirates operated the region’s first 100 per cent SAF-powered demonstration flight in January.

The airline has been actively championing strengthening the body of research around the industry’s understanding of SAF use in higher blends, its performance, safety and reliability, supporting standardization and future certification of 100 per cent SAF.

The airline first began using SAF in 2017, when it uplifted it on a flight from Chicago, and since then, flights from Stockholm, Paris, Lyon and Oslo have also operated with blended SAF.

In May, The Qantas Group launched its own $400 climate fund to back sustainability projects and technologies as the airline strives to meet its emissions reduction targets with the help of SAF.

*When used in neat form (i.e. unblended) and calculated with established life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies, such as CORSIA methodology.