Cathay Pacific Introduces Asia’s First SAF Corporate Program

Cathay Pacific 747-400F
Cathay Pacific 747-400F
Credit: Chen Chuanren

SINGAPORE―Cathay Pacific is launching a corporate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) program, allowing companies to purchase SAF for their employees’ flights and reducing Scope 3 carbon emissions from business travel or cargo transportation.

The program will start with eight companies--AIA, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), DHL Global Forwarding, HSBC, Kintetsu World Express (KWE), PwC China, Standard Chartered and Swire Pacific--and will be the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region. 

PetroChina and Shell are the fuel supply partners for the program. Created from cooking oil and animal fat waste, the SAF blend will be supplied from Neste’s refinery in Finland and sold to Cathay via Shell. 

Cathay announced in 2021 that it is targeting 10% SAF for its total fuel use by 2030.  

“We see the launch of this Corporate SAF Program as an important step for us to engage other like-minded organizations, and a first step in sending an important demand signal to the SAF supply chain that there is firm interest in the region, not only from airlines, but also the aviation value-chain all the way to end users for both passenger and cargo transportation.” Cathay CEO Augustus Tang said in a statement.

Neste Asia-Pacific VP for renewable aviation Sami Jauhiainen said that a good way to scale up SAF usage in the Asia-Pacific region is through partnerships with petrol companies such as Shell and ExxonMobil, allowing Neste to supply SAF to markets that it otherwise has no access to. Neste currently has an annual capacity of 100,000 tons of SAF and will reach 1.5 million tons of SAF annually by the end of 2023 after the completion of its Singapore plant and upgrade to its Rotterdam facility. 

Although the shipment of SAF from Finland to Hong Kong would create some carbon footprint, the total greenhouse gases emissions red from the entire lifecycle production and transportation of the SAF is still around 80% from traditional fossil fuel, according to CORSIA methodology. 

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.