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  • Joe Breitfeller

United Airlines Becomes First U.S. Carrier to Sign Purchase Agreement for SAF Overseas

United Airlines has become the first U.S. carrier to sign an international purchase agreement for sustainable aviation fuel. Under the agreement with Neste, United has purchase rights for up to 52.5 million gallons of fuel at Amsterdam Schiphol and potentially other airports.


United Partners With Neste for the International Purchase of SAF - Courtesy United Airlines/PRNewswire

On Tuesday (May 10, 2022), United Airlines announced that they have become the first U.S. carrier to sign an international purchase agreement for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). United’s purchase agreement with Neste grants the airline the right to purchase up to 52.5 million gallons of SAF at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport over the next three years – the largest SAF agreement Neste has made with a passenger airline to date. Neste will provide United with 2.5 million gallons during the first full year, purchase rights for up to 20 million gallons during year two, and up to 30 million gallons in year three at Amsterdam Schiphol or other locations throughout the globe.


In today’s announcment, United Airlines’ Chief Sustainability Officer, Lauren Riley, said,


“Reducing carbon emissions from fuel is the fastest way United will reach our 100% green goal by 2050. As the airline that has invested more than any other airline in sustainable aviation fuel production, it makes sense to expand our network of partners internationally with a leading company like Neste. The demand from our customers to limit their emissions from flying is growing exponentially, and this agreement means that United customers flying from Amsterdam, and potentially more airports, will be partners in our sustainability efforts.”


Also commenting on the new purchase agreement with United, Neste’s Executive Vice President – Renewable Aviation, Thorsten Lange, added,


“We're excited to be partnering with United in this milestone purchase agreement and make our SAF available to United, also an industry leader in SAF investments. Our global, fast-growing SAF production and supply chain supports airlines and their customers in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Neste is committed to helping aviation transition to a more sustainable future, and we look forward to expanding our cooperation with United.”


Since 2011, Helsinki-based Neste has been producing and delivering SAF to customers in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The company has an ambitious growth strategy and expects to ramp up capabilities for the production of 515 million gallons (1.5 million metric tons) of fuel annually by the end of 2023. SAF delivers the performance of conventional kerosene with a substantially smaller lifecycle carbon footprint. Neste’s SAF reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent versus conventional Jet-A fuel, while burning cleaner and reducing non-CO2 emissions such as particulate matter (PM). Neste’s MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ is produced from 100 percent sustainability sourced renewable waste and residue raw materials such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste.


United Airlines’ shared purpose is “Connecting People. Uniting the World.” In 2019, United and United Express® carriers operated over 1.7 million flights carrying over 162 million guests. United Airlines operates the most comprehensive network among North American carriers with mainland U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Shares in the company’s parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., are publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol ‘UAL.’



Source: United Airlines/PRNewswire