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Virgin Atlantic Partners With Neste and ExxonMobil for UK Supply of 2.5 Million Liters of SAF

Virgin Atlantic has partnered with Neste to deliver 2.5 million liters of sustainable aviation fuel to London Heathrow during the first half of 2022, as an important step towards the airline’s target of using 10 percent SAF by 2030.

Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350-1000 - Courtesy Airbus

On Wednesday (February 9, 2022), Virgin Atlantic announced that they have partnered with Neste and ExxonMobil to deliver 2.5 million liters of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to London Heathrow during the first half of 2022. Neste’s MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ is produced from sustainably-sourced, renewable waste and residue raw materials. In its neat form, it can reduce lifecycle emissions by up to 80 percent compared to traditional jet fuel. Virgin Atlantic and Neste will be supported by ExxonMobil’s expertise in supply and distribution of jet fuel to manage this delivery of SAF in the UK. ExxonMobil is Virgin Atlantic’s largest fuel supplier at Heathrow.

In Wednesday’s announcement, Virgin Atlantic’s Vice President of Corporate Development, Holly Boyd-Boland, said,

“After fleet renewal, SAF represents the greatest opportunity to decarbonise aviation in the short to medium term. This supply is the beginning of commercial SAF at scale for Virgin Atlantic and whilst only enough to operate 140 flights between London and New York, it’s a starting point. To meet our 10% SAF target in 2030 we need to deliver this volume more than seventy times over, requiring cross industry and Government action to support commercialisation of SAF at scale, particularly in the UK. We will continue to work closely with Neste and ExxonMobil, as well as wider industry partners, to find innovative solutions to achieve this goal.”

Also commenting on the SAF partnership, Neste’s Vice President Renewable Energy, Jonathan Wood, said,

“We are delighted to provide Virgin Atlantic with our Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Neste is committed to working together with the aviation industry to achieve its emission reduction targets. We are ready to support the aviation industry and UK government’s policy ambitions to increase the use of SAF to at least 10% by 2030. We need to act now - SAF is a proven solution with clear climate benefits and is already available today.”

Paul Greenwood, Chairman of Esso UK Ltd (a subsidiary of ExxonMobil) added,

“We’re proud to play our part in this pioneering agreement, facilitating a safe, secure and reliable supply of lower emission aviation fuel via our dedicated pipeline network.”

Virgin Atlantic has committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Currently, 100 percent of the carrier’s fleet is twin-engine and 70 percent next generation, making it one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets flying today. Today's announcment follows Virgin Atlantic’s multi-billion dollar fleet renewal program, which has already delivered a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from 2007 through 2019. The agreement with Neste represents the first commercial supply of SAF for Virgin Atlantic, following the airline’s long-term commitment to SAF, having operated their first flight using sustainable fuels in 2008.

Source: Virgin Atlantic

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