Emirates’ first flights powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), provided by Shell Aviation, have taken off from Dubai International Airport (DXB).
Emirates flight EK 412 to Sydney in Australia on October 24, 2023, was among the first aircraft to depart DXB with SAF from Shell Aviation.
Shell has supplied 315,000 gallons of blended SAF for use at the airline’s hub in Dubai with the fuel already put to work on a number of flights in the last few weeks.
The blended SAF supplied by Shell into the DXB airport fueling system was comprised of a ratio of 40% neat SAF and 60% conventional Jet A-1 fuel.
According to a statement by Emirates, the “chemical characteristics at this ratio are identical to conventional jet fuel and can seamlessly be integrated into the existing airport fuel infrastructure as well as in the engines of the entire Emirates fleet with no modifications required”.
In its neat form, SAF reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% over its life cycle when compared with conventional jet fuel.
“We’re pushing ahead with proactive measures to enable more sustainable flying now and in the future, and powering flights from our Dubai hub is just one of the steps we’ve taken to reduce emissions and concretely help our customers minimize their own carbon footprint. We still have a long road ahead, and we hope that our partnership with Shell Aviation inspires more producers to address the supply gaps and make SAF readily available in major hubs like Dubai, as well as other points on our network,” Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, said.
Earlier this year, Emirates and Shell signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore areas of collaboration around sustainable travel and technology-driven travel experiences.
“Emirates and Shell have a long-standing history of collaboration, and we are thrilled to continue this journey together to enable SAF usage in the UAE. This first-ever supply of SAF to Emirates in Dubai is an example of what can be achieved when different parts of the aviation value chain come together. Our hope is that this milestone will inspire further advancements in SAF adoption throughout the aviation industry in the UAE and the wider region,” Jan Toschka, President of Shell Aviation, said.
Emirates operated the region’s first 100% SAF-powered demonstration flight in January 2023.
The airline first began using SAF in 2017, on a flight from Chicago, and since then, flights from Stockholm, Paris, Lyon and Oslo have also operated with blended SAF.