Alaska Airlines signs agreement with Shell looking to scale SAF production
Last week, Alaska Airlines, America’s fifth largest domestic carrier announced an agreement with Shell Aviation to “expand the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) market beyond a standard fuel supply agreement.”
According to the press release, the agreement includes commitments to deepen understanding of the tech, infrastructure, carbon accounting systems, and the public policy support needed to bring SAF to more markets “in greater quantities and at a more sustainable long-term cost.”
Shell will also supply the airline with up to 10 million gallons of neat SAF. This will aid Alaska Airlines in its goal to reach net zero by 2040, a decade before the industry target of Net-Zero by 2050. Diana Birkett Rakow, SVP for Public Affairs and Sustainability at Alaska said:
“Alaska Airlines has set our course to net zero by 2040 and sustainable aviation fuels represent the greatest near-term opportunity to make a step-level change on that journey. That’s why we’ve pioneered SAF technologies for more than a decade. But we can’t scale the market alone. We’re excited to take this next step in the journey with Shell, to leverage their deep knowledge of the energy industry, its infrastructure requirements and supply chain to make lower lifecycle carbon SAF more widely available for the future.”
The airline committed to the ambitious net zero by 2040 target back in 2020. In their 2021 Care Report, SAF was highlighted as one of the key elements in this decarbonisation journey. The report emphasised problems with SAF scalability, identifying it as one of the crucial challenges that needed to be addressed in order for the sector’s climate impact to be effectively reduced. The airline have stated they hope this agreement with Shell will “transform West Coast fuel supply [and] advance SAF access in more markets.”
Shell share the airline’s commitment to scaling up SAF production. To learn more, watch this interview with the President of Shell Aviation discussing sustainability, barriers to production of SAF, and the importance of collaboration for meeting sustainability goals, Discussing sustainability with the President of Shell Aviation, Jan Toschka. In the press release with Alaska Airlines, Jan explained:
“We need support form the entire ecosystem to build a sustainable future for aviation. This deep level of collaboration will help us put the technologies and supply chain in place to advance the industry.”
The agreement with Alaska Airlines comes just weeks after Shell’s agreement with JetBlue which outlined a delivery of 10 million gallons of blended SAF at LAX over the next two years and an option to purchase up to 5 million gallons more in the first year.
For more news surrounding sustainability in aviation see ZeroAvia and Fortum partner to develop hydrogen production.
Article by Jess Brownlow