Virgin Atlantic Conducts London to NYC SAF Flight - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  November 28, 2023

Virgin Atlantic Conducts London to NYC SAF Flight

Virgin Atlantic announced a flight took off from London Heathrow and landed in New York using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

The fuel was made from waste products and delivers CO2 lifecycle emissions savings of up to 70%. 

Flight100 will assess how its use affects the flight's non-carbon emissions with the support of consortium partners ICF, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Imperial College London and University of Sheffield. The research will improve understanding of the effects of SAF on contrails and particulates and help to implement contrail forecasts in the flight planning process. The data and research will be shared with the airline industry.

Virgin Atlantic will continue its involvement with contrail work through RMI's Climate Impact Task Force, which is partially funded by Virgin Unite.

The SAF used on Flight100 is a dual blend - 88% HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids) supplied by AirBP and 12% SAK (Synthetic Aromatic Kerosene) supplied by Virent, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation. SAK is needed in 100% SAF blends to give the fuel the required aromatics for engine function. 

The HEFA is made from waste fats and the SAK is made from plant sugars, allowing the remainder of the plant proteins, oil and fibers to continue into the food chain. 

"Flight100 proves that Sustainable Aviation Fuel can be used as a safe, drop-in replacement for fossil-derived jet fuel and it's the only viable solution for decarbonizing long-haul aviation,” Shai Weiss, Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said in a statement.

“It's taken radical collaboration to get here and we're proud to have reached this important milestone, but we need to push further. There is simply not enough SAF and it's clear that in order to reach production at scale, we need to see significantly more investment. This will only happen when regulatory certainty and price support mechanisms, backed by government, are in place. Flight100 proves that if you make it, we'll fly it."

« Back to Renewable Energy

  • LinkedIn
  • Subscribe

Smart Energy Decisions Content Partners