Ryanair has deal to increase SAF supply at Spain, Portugal airports
Photo credit: Ryanair/Piotr Mitelski
Ireland-based ULCC Ryanair has a deal with global energy group Repsol to advance the supply of SAF for use at its airports across Spain and Portugal. This will give the airline access to up to 155,000 tons (52 million gal.) of SAF between 2025 and 2030—equivalent to more than 28,000 flights of roughly 150 minutes, which is predicted to save approximately 490,000 tons in CO2 emissions.
UK Jet2.com invests in SAF production plant
Photo credit: Jet2.com
UK leisure carrier Jet2.com has invested in a new SAF production plant in northwest England, the Fulcrum NorthPoint facility. The deal will see Jet2—which encompasses airline Jet2.com and Jet2holidays—take an equity stake in the Fulcrum plant and receive more than 200 million liters (53 million gal.) of SAF over a 15-year period. SAF production is expected to start there in 2027.
Norwegian, Norsk team up to build SAF production plant
Photo credit: Norsk e-fuel
Norwegian has teamed with Norsk e-fuel to build a SAF production plant. Norwegian says the first full scale e-fuel plant, located in Mosjøen in northern Norway, will produce SAF from as early as 2026. The partnership is estimated to secure approximately 20% of Norwegian’s total demand for SAF until 2030. In addition, Norwegian will invest more than NOK50 million ($4.7 million) for a minority equity stake in the company. These measures will contribute to reaching Norwegian’s goal of a 45% emission reduction by 2030.
Wizz Air invests in biofuel company
Photo credit: Alamy Stock Photo
Hungary-based Wizz Air is investing £5 million ($5.5 million) in biofuel company Firefly, which plans to make SAF from sewage. Wizz Air says the move is its first equity investment in SAF research and development, and the partnership will allow the airline to supply SAF to its UK operations beginning in 2028, for up to 525,000 metric tons over 15 years.
The agreement has the potential to save 1.5 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent, Wizz Air says. Firefly specializes in a process under which sewage sludge, a low-value waste product, is converted into SAF. With more than 57 million metric tons of sewage sludge produced in the UK each year, the company sees the potential to produce 250,000 metric tons of SAF. Firefly aims to have its first commercial plant operating within five years.
Brazil, Spain announce SAF production projects
Photo credit: Acelen
Two huge projects to produce billions of gallons of renewable transportation fuels have been announced in Brazil and Spain. Photo caption: UAE’s Mubadala acquired the Mataripe Refinery in Brazil’s Bahia state in 2021.
In Brazil, Acelen plans to invest more than 12 billion reals ($2.38 billion) over 10 years to modernize its Mataripe refinery in the state of Bahia to produce 1 billion liters (264 billion gal.) of renewable fuel per year, including SAF. Production is expected to start in early 2026.
In Spain, energy company Cepsa formed a joint venture with Bio-Oils, owner of a refinery in Huelva, in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, with plans to invest up to €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in the plant to produce 500,000 metric tons (165 million gal.) of SAF and renewable diesel per year. Production is planned to begin the first half of 2026.
Canada boosts SAF production
Photo credit: Raven
Canada is getting a boost in SAF production as renewable fuels company Raven SR and Calgary, Alberta-headquartered Cap Clean Energy Corp. inked an agreement to co-develop biofuels facilities in Canada to produce SAF and renewable diesel for the heavy-duty transport sector. This partnership will allow Cap Clean to produce high-quality renewable fuels from various biomass and bio-wastes feedstocks for the difficult-to-abate transportation sector using modular systems capable of rapid production scale-up.
Quebec initiative to fly Airbus A220 on 100% SAF
Photo credit: SAF+ Consortium
Airbus Canada, Pratt & Whitney Canada and SAF+ Consortium (CADAQ-100) have a new initiative to collaborate on next-generation SAF, supported by the Quebec government. Key areas of collaboration include SAF research and testing, including flight testing blends of up to 100% SAF on an Airbus A220 aircraft powered by P&W GTF engines. The project will also comprise feasibility studies for establishing local production facilities for power-to-liquid e-SAF in Quebec.
Boeing expands ecoDemonstrator program to include 787-10
Photo credit: Boeing
Boeing is expanding its ecoDemonstrator program to include “Explorer” platforms that will focus on short-term testing of a specific technology. The first Boeing ecoDemonstrator Explorer, a Boeing 787-10, will participate in an operational efficiency exercise in June that includes flight tests in June from Seattle to Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkok to demonstrate how coordinating navigation across global airspace jurisdictions can improve operational efficiency, which can reduce an airplane's fuel use and emissions by up to 10%.
Vistara 787 flies on SAF blend
Photo credit: Vistara
India’s Vistara operated a Boeing 787 domestic flight between Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (DEL) and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai (BOM) on May 4 that was powered by a blend of SAF and traditional fuel, the first commercial service in India on a widebody aircraft.
United to begin using SAF blend on SFO, LHR flights
Photo credit: United Airlines
United Airlines is ramping up its usage of SAF, saying it will begin using a SAF blend on departing flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and is planning to use a SAF blend later this year at London Heathrow Airport (LHR), which could put United on track to use approximately 10 million gallons in 2023, nearly three times more than 2022 and close to 10 times more than 2019.
JAL to uptake blended SAF
Photo credit: Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines (JAL) will be the first airline to uptake blended SAF from Nagoya Chubu Centrair Airport (NGO), as part of the Japanese transport ministry’s demonstration project to blend SAF in-country. The Civil Aviation Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) procured 5,000 liters (1,300 gal.) of neat SAF from Neste, and blended at a Fuji Oil Company facility, before being sold by trading firm Itochu to JAL and All Nippon Airways (ANA).
Government incentives and partnerships are proving to be the way to encourage the speedy construction of SAF production plants and development of research facilities to accelerate SAF supply as the industry accelerates moves toward a net-zero future.
Linda Blachly is Senior Associate Editor for Air Transport World and Aviation Week. She joined the company in July 2010 and is responsible for producing features for Air Transport World’s monthly magazine and engaging content for the aviationweek.com. She is based in the Washington DC office.