Sydney | Published on 11th November 2022 at 7:18
  • National Carrier’s new program allows corporate customers to reduce emissions through sustainable aviation fuel
  • Demand from businesses a key step towards development of local SAF industry

Qantas has joined forces with five large companies in Australia to show the demand that exists for a local sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry in Australia by preferencing it as a way to reduce their carbon emissions.

The national carrier today launched the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Coalition (SAF Coalition) program, with Australia Post, Boston Consulting Group, KPMG Australia, Macquarie Group and Woodside Energy signing on as foundation members.

Members will pay a premium to reduce around 900 tonnes of their air carbon emissions each year by contributing to the incremental cost of SAF rather than using traditional carbon offsets. By doing so, they send a clear message that there is significant demand for SAF, the key driver towards decarbonisation of the aviation industry.

The Coalition will initially contribute to the incremental cost of up to 10 million litres of SAF sourced by Qantas at London’s Heathrow Airport, which represents around 15 per cent of the fuel Qantas ordinarily consumes on flights out of London, and from 2025 to a further 20 million litres each year sourced out of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Qantas is currently in negotiations with a number of offshore suppliers to source additional supplies of SAF, which is in high demand globally and which the national carrier would prefer to source domestically.

Together with Airbus, Qantas committed in June to invest up to US$200 million to get a local SAF industry off the ground, including equity funding for new feedstock and refining projects.

The foundation members will also receive enhanced reporting on the emissions from their flying activity and employees will get fast-tracked access to Qantas Frequent Flyer’s Green Tier program.

Qantas will continue discussions with a number of other companies looking to join the Coalition.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the strong demand for SAF from corporate Australia is a key step towards the development of a local biofuels industry.

“Air travel is a crucial part of doing business for many companies.  Companies need to travel to meet customers, suppliers and partners, but they also want to reduce their impact on the environment. SAF is a great way to do that,” Mr Joyce said.

“The demand for SAF has never been higher but supply is lagging well behind, particularly without a local industry in Australia, and that’s keeping prices several times more expensive than traditional jet kerosene.

“The more leading corporates that join our program/coalition the more feasible a local industry becomes and the more cost effective the fuel becomes.”

SAF is produced from certified bio feedstock, including used cooking oil, energy crops, forestry residues, animal tallow and other waste products. It is blended with normal jet fuel and produces up to 80 per cent less emissions on a life cycle basis when compared with traditional jet kerosene.

The Qantas Group has committed to using 10 per cent SAF in its overall fuel mix by 2030 and approximately 60 per cent by 2050.

The SAF Coalition will extend Qantas’ existing corporate offsetting program, Future Planet, which enables companies to offset emissions through certified, high quality projects in Australia and overseas.

The Qantas Group’s commitment to sustainability:

  • Qantas was the second airline in the world to commit to net zero emissions by 2050
  • The Qantas Group Climate Action Plan released in March 2022, commits the airline group to an interim target of 25 per cent emissions reduction by 2030
  • As part of its fleet replacement program announced in May, the Qantas Group confirmed purchase rights for up to 134 A321XLR and A220 aircraft, which will reduce emissions by at least 15 per cent if running on traditional fossil fuels
  • Jetstar’s first A321LR, which arrived in August, burned 25 per cent less fuel (the equivalent of two tonnes) on its first commercial flight from Melbourne to Cairns than the older aircraft it replaces
  • The Qantas Group’s landmark Project Sunrise program, which will use A350s to travel non-stop initially between Sydney and London and Sydney and New York, will be carbon neutral from day one
  • Qantas’ Fly Carbon Neutral program is one of the largest airline offsetting program in the world, with a focus on high integrity projects in Australia and overseas. Around 10 per cent of passengers “tick the box” to offset flights. Offsetting is a key tool in Qantas’ decarbonisation efforts, particularly while alternative aircraft propulsion technology (eg electric) is still many years away