Emirates’ Historic Dubai Flights Fueled by Shell Aviation SAF

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Emirates, a leading airline, has marked a significant milestone by launching its initial flights powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Shell Aviation at Dubai International Airport (DXB).

On October 24, 2023, Emirates’ flight EK 412 to Sydney, Australia, became one of the first aircraft to take off from DXB fueled by SAF from Shell Aviation. This achievement is a testament to the airline’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Shell Aviation has provided 315,000 gallons of blended SAF for use at Dubai’s aviation hub, with this innovative fuel having already powered several flights over the past few weeks. The blended SAF, seamlessly integrated into the DXB airport fueling system, is composed of a 40% neat SAF and 60% conventional Jet A-1 fuel mixture, mirroring the chemical characteristics of traditional jet fuel. This blend can be utilized in the existing airport infrastructure and the engines of the entire Emirates fleet without any modifications.

In its pure form, SAF significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% over its life cycle compared to conventional jet fuel, making it a pivotal component of the airline’s sustainability strategy.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, emphasized their proactive measures to foster sustainable aviation, saying, “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 minimize their own carbon footprint. 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.”

Earlier this year, Emirates and Shell signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore collaborative efforts related to sustainable travel and technology-driven travel experiences.

Jan Toschka, President of Shell Aviation, expressed enthusiasm for their partnership, stating, “Emirates and Shell have a long-standing history of collaboration, and we are thrilled to continue this journey together to enable SAF usage in the UAE. This first-ever supply of SAF to Emirates in Dubai is an example of what can be achieved when different parts of the aviation value chain come together. Our hope is that this milestone will inspire further advancements in SAF adoption throughout the aviation industry in the UAE and the wider region.”

Emirates had already demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by operating the region’s first 100% SAF-powered flight in January 2023. The airline first incorporated SAF into its flights in 2017, starting with a flight from Chicago. Since then, several other flights from Stockholm, Paris, Lyon, and Oslo have also been powered by blended SAF, marking continued progress in their pursuit of greener aviation.