Airbus and Qantas are investing up to $200 million to boost the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry in Australia.
The partnership, initially for five years, was signed in Doha on June 19, 2022, ahead of the annual IATA gathering of airline executives.
The use of SAF is on the rise as a way for airlines to reduce CO2 emissions. However, there is no commercial-scale SAF industry in Australia and Qantas is having to source its requirements of the fuel from overseas. Meanwhile, Australia is currently exporting millions of tonnes of feedstock every year to be made into SAF in other countries.
“Without swift action, Australia is at risk of being left behind,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce commented in a press release. “With this investment, Qantas and Airbus are putting our money where our mouth is and betting on the innovation and ingenuity of Australian industry.”
The Qantas and Airbus partnership will provide funding for locally developed and produced SAF and feedstock initiatives. Projects will have to be commercially viable and meet a strict set of criteria around environmental sustainability, the two companies said.
“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,” Joyce said.
The two companies agreed to work together as part of new aircraft orders placed by Qantas, including for Project Sunrise.