Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has become the first airline in Switzerland to deploy Finnish energy company Neste’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in commercial flights.
“We are delighted to have received the first delivery of our own-sourced SAF into Switzerland so soon after these new customs regulations came into force,” said SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx in a statement. “For years now, SWISS and the Lufthansa Group have been lobbying for the import of sustainable aviation fuels, because these will be the key technology for the mid-to-long term future in enabling us to achieve our climate goals for 2030.”
Neste has made a name for itself as a leading global supplier of SAF, with a current annual capacity of 100,000 tons of the fuel. The firm’s SAF blend is Jet A-1 certified, and doesn’t require any modifications to existing engines prior to its use. According to the company website, the greener fuel can cut carbon emissions by up to 80% compared to traditional fossil fuels.
Neste’s first delivery of SAF to SWISS is enough to power over 175 short-haul flights, and will be used at Zurich airport using the conventional hydrant system.
“We are very pleased to welcome SWISS to the ever-growing ranks of major airlines that are using Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel,” says Jonathan Wood, Neste’s Vice President Europe, Renewable Aviation in a press release. “This first-ever delivery of SAF to Switzerland for commercial airline use is a major milestone for us at Neste.”
SAF has been identified as a crucial stepping stone in the aviation sector’s decarbonisation efforts, with a series of industry measures working to accelerate deployment of the cleaner fuel. On Wednesday this week, the European aviation industry proposed the development of an EU Pact for Sustainable Aviation, in support of the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ initiative. Other businesses are also falling in line with decarbonisation efforts, with Shell and Rolls Royce signing a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this month to support the sector’s decarbonisation – with supporting rollout of SAF being a component of this.