JetBlue, Shell Aviation Partner to Supply SAF to LAX

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JetBlue and Shell Aviation have partnered to deliver a fresh supply of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The new SAF supply is expected to begin in the first half of 2023.

Under the agreement, JetBlue is set to receive 10 million gallons of blended SAF at LAX over the next two years, with the option to buy an additional 5 million gallons in the third year. The third-year purchase can be made at LAX or other JetBlue network airports.

SAF is a renewable fuel that can be used with no impact on safety or performance in existing aircraft and infrastructure. SAF can be produced from various sources like agricultural wastes and used cooking oils and has the potential to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by about 80% compared to traditional petroleum-based fuels.

“We’ve long said we need multiple key stakeholders to step up to reach our aggressive emissions reduction goals. This deal with Shell is a key signal of the growing engagement of the major fuel producers to begin converting conventional jet fuel to SAF,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer JetBlue. “Shell’s involvement, with their expertise in energy markets and logistics, is a validation of the SAF market’s potential and highlights how critical the SAF transition of our hard-to-decarbonise industry is to establishing a more sustainable future of flight.”

Shell has set a target to have 10% of its aviation jet fuel sales as SAF by 2030. To achieve this, Shell is developing the supply chain capabilities to blend, manage, and distribute SAF, making it accessible to more customers. By doing so, Shell aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of the aviation sector.

“It’s terrific to be supporting JetBlue once again in its decarbonisation efforts. Like Shell, JetBlue understands that SAF will be the key technology to help decarbonise flight,” commented Jan Toschka, President of Shell Aviation. “LAX is a critical North American airport hub and we’re delighted to be able to provide JetBlue and corporations on its Sustainable Travel Partners program access to SAF, allowing them to lower their emissions while jointly contributing to investments in SAF.”

Enabling and expanding the availability of SAF is crucial for achieving broader goals in the airline industry, including JetBlue's ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040, ten years earlier than the industry target.

These sustainability commitments will also apply to JetBlue's planned integration of Spirit Airlines into its operations. JetBlue is committed to supporting a competitive and diverse SAF market and promoting the growth of supply and economies of scale necessary for SAF prices to become competitive with traditional fuel sources.

“We envision a future of a robust, regular, and diversified supply of SAF delivered all around our network, incrementally replacing conventional fuels and driving down emissions in our operation. We’ve publicly committed to cutting our per-seat emissions in half by 2035, and a viable SAF market at scale is a key component to meeting this goal,” said Sara Bogdan, director sustainability and ESG JetBlue. “Working with Shell will not only help grow the availability of SAF in the long-term but also ensure this transition is sustainable from a business perspective by building the connections and infrastructure to help keep the cost of SAF competitive with traditional fuel.”

JetBlue and Shell will collaborate to provide corporate customers with additional options to reduce their emissions while ensuring transparency and accountability.

They will work together to offer Avelia, a blockchain-powered digital SAF book-and-claim solution, to businesses to help them address their travel-related emissions. Through JetBlue-issued SAF certificates, companies can directly offset their corporate travel emissions.

Developed by Shell and Accenture in partnership with the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), Avelia utilises American Express Global Business Travel's travel management services to aggregate global business demand for SAF, increase SAF supply, and accelerate the aviation industry's path to achieving net-zero emissions.

By collaborating with Shell Aviation, JetBlue will receive an additional supply of SAF at LAX, increasing SAF to about 15% of its total LAX jet fuel consumption. JetBlue has also signed agreements with three more SAF producers for future supply and is looking for SAF partnerships in the Northeast.

However, JetBlue recognises that the majority of SAF is supplied to California airports due to the state's low-carbon fuel programme. To increase SAF usage at other airports, incentives from federal and state programmes are necessary to change the economics for SAF producers and airline buyers.

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Source: JetBlue

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