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Qantas and Airbus Partner With Joint Investment to Kickstart SAF Market in Australia

Qantas and Airbus will invest up to $200 to accelerate the development of the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The partnership will fund commercially-viable local SAF and feedstock initiatives that meet a strict environmentally sustainable standards.

From Left: Qantas Group's CEO, Alan Joyce, and Airbus' CEO, Guillaume Faury - Courtesy Airbus

On Sunday (June 19, 2022), Airbus announced the launch of a new joint investment with Qantas to accelerate the establishment of a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry in Australia. Currently, Australia exports millions of tons of feedstock such as canola and animal tallow, as the country currently lacks a commercial-scale SAF industry. Qantas and Airbus will provide funding for local SAF and feedstock initiatives that are commercially viable and adhere to a strict set of environmental sustainability criteria. The partnership was signed by Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury and Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, and includes an investment of up to $200 million to kickstart the Australian biofuels industry. Qantas Group has committed to using a 10 percent SAF mix by 2030, and is currently sourcing the fuel overseas.

In Sunday’s announcment, Qantas Group’s CEO, Alan Joyce, said,

“The use of SAF is increasing globally as governments and industry work together to find ways to decarbonise the aviation sector. Without swift action, Australia is at risk of being left behind. With this investment, Qantas and Airbus are putting our money where our mouth is and betting on the innovation and ingenuity of Australian industry. Aviation is an irreplaceable industry, especially for a country the size of Australia, and one that’s located so far away from so much of the world. Future generations are relying on us to get this right so they too can benefit from air travel.

“This investment will help kickstart a local biofuels industry in Australia and hopefully encourage additional investment from governments and other businesses and build more momentum for the industry as a whole. It makes a lot of sense for us to put equity into an industry that we will be the biggest customer of. We’re calling on other companies and producers to come forward with their biofuel projects. In many cases, this funding will be the difference between some of these projects getting off the ground.

“The aviation industry also needs the right policy settings in place to ensure the cost of SAF comes down over time so that the cost of air travel doesn’t rise. We’ve had some encouraging discussions with the incoming Australian Government given their strong focus on emissions reduction and look forward to that progressing.”

Also commenting on the new SAF Partnership, Airbus’ CEO, Guillaume Faury, added,

“Ensuring a sustainable future for our industry has become the priority for Airbus and we are taking up this challenge with partners across the world and from across all sectors. The increased use of sustainable aviation fuels will be a key driver to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. But we can’t do this without viable industrial systems to produce and commercialise these energy sources at affordable rates and near to key hubs around the world. This is especially true for a country like Australia, which is geographically distant and highly reliant on aviation to remain connected both domestically and internationally. The agreement we are signing with Qantas today reflects the new level of partnership between our two companies and our firmly shared commitment to act as catalysts of change to ensure a bright future for our industry.”

In 2019, Qantas became the second airline in the world to commit to net zero emissions by 2050. The carrier also recently announced purchase rights for up to 94 Airbus A321XLR and A220 aircraft, which will reduce emissions by up to 25 percent versus previous generation aircraft. Additionally, the Qantas Group’s landmark ‘Project Sunrise’ which will use Airbus A350s to initially offer direct service from Sydney to London and New York. which will be carbon neutral from day one. Qantas’ Fly Carbon Neutral Programme is also one of the largest offsetting programs in the world which has been well received by passengers who choose to offset their flights, with an over 10 percent uptake. The airline also recently introduced The Qantas Green Tier for their 14 million Qantas Frequent Flyer members, which awards customers for being more sustainable both at home and when they travel.

Source(s): Airbus, Qantas


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