Dubai’s aviation scene is taking a greener turn as Emirates launches flights powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Shell Aviation. The inaugural SAF-infused journey, EK 412 bound for Sydney on October 24, marked a significant step in the airline’s commitment to environmentally conscious flying.
Shell Aviation has provided 315,000 gallons of blended SAF for use at Dubai International Airport (DXB), with a mix of 40% neat SAF and 60% conventional Jet A-1 fuel. This combination mirrors the chemical characteristics of traditional jet fuel, seamlessly integrating into existing infrastructure and the engines of Emirates’ entire fleet, requiring no modifications.
In its pure form, SAF boasts an impressive 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over its life cycle compared to conventional jet fuel. Emirates is closely monitoring the delivery and environmental impact of SAF through Avelia, Shell Aviation’s blockchain-powered solution.
Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, expressed the airline’s proactive approach to sustainable flying, emphasizing their commitment to reducing emissions and helping customers minimize their carbon footprint. The collaboration with Shell Aviation is seen as a catalyst for inspiring other producers to make SAF readily available in major aviation hubs.
Jan Toschka, President of Shell Aviation, highlighted the historical collaboration between Emirates and Shell, expressing excitement about this milestone in SAF usage in Dubai. The hope is that this achievement will spur further advancements in SAF adoption throughout the aviation industry in the UAE and beyond.
Emirates and Shell’s collaboration extends beyond this initiative, as evidenced by their earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore sustainable travel and technology-driven experiences. The partnership aims to reduce travel emissions and enhance the overall travel experience through innovative technologies like New Distribution Capabilities (NDC).
Emirates remains committed to its environmental framework, focusing on reducing emissions, responsible consumption, and wildlife habitat preservation. The airline’s dedication is further underscored by a $200 million fund for research and development projects aimed at mitigating the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation.
While Emirates has been actively championing SAF since 2017, with the region’s first 100% SAF-powered demonstration flight in January, the airline continues to contribute to industry research, understanding, and standardization efforts for higher blends of SAF. Engaging in various working groups and stakeholder discussions, Emirates strives to scale up the production and supply of sustainable aviation fuel, solidifying its role as a leader in environmentally conscious air travel.