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Jet2.com to use SAF at London Stansted Airport

Jet2.com announced that it will use a blend of SAF at London Stansted Airport in 2024, meaning the leading leisure airline will use SAF on departing flights from two UK airports in 2024, almost a year ahead of the UK’s Government’s SAF mandate which is due to be introduced from 2025. 

The UK’s third largest airline has purchased approximately 650 tons of SAF from Shell Aviation, which will be used to add a 1% SAF blend onto a number of departing flights from London Stansted Airport this year.  When used in its neat form, SAF can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by up to 80% compared to using conventional jet fuel. 

Today’s announcement follows Jet2.com revealing just last month that it will use a blend of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) at Bristol Airport in 2024. Across the two airports, this means that Jet2.com has purchased approximately 1,000 tons of SAF. 

Using a SAF blend in 2024 means that Jet2.com can prepare its operation ahead of the UK SAF mandate, which will be introduced from 1st January 2025. As part of this mandate, fuel suppliers have been set a target that at least 10% of jet fuel should be made from SAF by 2030.  

SAF is recognized as one of the best methods to decarbonize aviation in the short to medium term, including recently by the Transport Select Committee which stated: “Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) are the most viable option for the immediate reduction of aviation emissions.”  

Jet2 plc has already made an equity investment into a new SAF production plant to be constructed in the Northwest of England – one of the first such deals in UK aviation. The Fulcrum NorthPoint facility, being developed by Fulcrum BioEnergy Ltd, will operate as a Waste-to-Fuels plant, with Jet2.com set to receive more than 200 million liters of SAF once operational. The plant will also generate up to 1,500 jobs, benefiting the national and local economy. 

This investment in SAF is just part of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays’ journey to net zero by 2050, in line with Government targets, although the company aspires to bring this date forward. The company has published a sustainability strategy which outlines its targets and actions, with an update due to be released this year. 

Pledges in the strategy include the purchase of 110 firm ordered Airbus A320/A321 neo aircraft, which could eventually extend up to 146 aircraft, making travelling with Jet2.com and Jet2holidays more efficient by further reducing emissions per passenger. To date, the company has taken delivery of seven of these new aircraft. In addition, Jet2holidays has recently launched a brand-new hotel sustainability labelling scheme, meaning that customers and independent travel agents can easily find and choose from a collection of certified sustainable hotels which meet Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Recognized standards. Currently featuring over 900 hotels, the collection can be found here: www.jet2holidays.com/sustainable-hotels  

Despite Jet2’s investments into SAF, without a fully-fledged domestic SAF industry, the UK remains reliant on fuel imported at a high-cost or requires airlines to pay a buy-out price, putting UK airlines and holidaymakers at a competitive disadvantage. 

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “Today’s announcement further demonstrates the tangible actions that we are taking to mitigate our climate impacts, and it means will be using a SAF blend from London Stansted in 2024, in addition to Bristol Airport. We see SAF as critical in helping the industry decarbonize and as well as doing this, we can use this to ensure our operations are ready for SAF uptake both now and in the future, when we anticipate its use will grow materially. We very much see 1% as the starting point and we want to grow this over the coming years.” 

He added: “Today’s announcement, in addition to our investment into a new SAF plant in the Northwest of England, shows how committed we are to SAF and how much we believe in unlocking its huge potential. Unfortunately, there is still some way to go and without more supplies of UK SAF and greater support to incentivize its uptake and reduce its cost, our industry and UK holidaymakers are at a disadvantage. The UK Government must implement the price revenue mechanism earlier than the current timeline of 2026 which means we can secure investor confidence, build the UK SAF plants that we need, and turbocharge the UK SAF industry.” 

“It is fantastic to support Jet2.com on its journey to reduce emissions through the use of SAF,” added Ashleigh McDougall, General Manager Europe and Africa, Shell Aviation. “SAF is a key lever for decarbonizing aviation, but scaling its supply and use requires concerted effort from across the aviation sector.  Today’s announcement is a great example of the collaborative actions that are required to drive forward the use of SAF and help decarbonize flight.” 

Neil Robinson, MAG CSR and Future Airspace Director: “Today’s announcement by Jet2.com is really excellent news given the vital role SAF will play in taking carbon out of the aviation industry. Our focus at London Stansted is to continue driving forward on our commitment to reach net zero carbon operations by 2038 and supporting the development of more sustainable aviation fuel to help aviation reach net zero by 2050. Jet2.com’s introduction of SAF at Stansted is another positive development in driving down carbon emissions and we look forward to working with them to build on this great start.” 

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