Virgin Atlantic to Buy 70m US gallons of SAF

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by KnowESG
Picture of Virgin Atlantic announcing its plans to buy 70 million US gallons of sustainable aviation fuel.

Virgin Atlantic has announced the purchase of 10 million USG per year of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Gevo, Inc., which will be delivered through Virgin Atlantic's joint venture partner, Delta Air Lines. The arrangement with Delta expands on Delta and Gevo's existing long-term collaboration and enhances the use of SAF from the US West Coast. Gevo's SAF will come from one of its upcoming production facilities.

Gevo's manufacturing technique separates sugars and proteins from non-edible industrial corn grown with environmentally friendly agricultural practices. The sugars are then converted into SAF, while the proteins are fed to livestock, whose dung can be used in biogas digestors to generate renewable natural gas and agricultural fertiliser.

Virgin Atlantic has been at the forefront of environmental leadership for over 15 years, and it currently operates a 70% next generation fleet, making it one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient airlines in the world. Because of this, Virgin Atlantic's total carbon emissions have gone down by 36% in the last ten years.

After changing the fleet, SAF at scale has the best chance of cutting carbon emissions over the next ten years, which will help get to Net Zero by 2050. This new SAF deal with Delta represents 20% of Virgin Atlantic's 2030 SAF ambition and is enough to fuel more than 500 transatlantic flights from Los Angeles.

Today, global SAF production accounts for less than [0.1%] of jet fuel, making it critical for the aviation industry to expedite change. Delta and Virgin Atlantic are working together to ensure that Virgin Atlantic has a long-term supply of SAF. This shows that the demand for SAF is growing and that investments are being made now to support SAF production in the coming years.

Holly Boyd Boland, VP Corporate Development at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We know that SAF has a fundamental role to play in aviation decarbonisation. The demand from airlines is clear, and Virgin Atlantic is committed to supporting the scale up of SAF production at pace. We cannot meet our collective ambition of Net Zero 2050 without it.

“We’re proud that our fleet leads the way on fuel and carbon efficiency, but we know that more needs to be done. We’re excited to be partnering with Delta to further reduce our carbon emissions on flights across the transatlantic.”

Pam Fletcher, Delta’s CSO and Head of Corporate Innovation, said: “We need to create strong demand signals to ensure SAF can scale affordably to the levels our industry needs on the path to net zero by 2050. That’s why we’re excited about this joint partnership with Virgin Atlantic and Gevo that brings a further commitment to SAF for the benefit of customers, our industry, and the planet.”

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Source: Virgin Atlantic


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