Emirates flights depart Heathrow Airport powered by 3,000 metric tons of SAF

Emirates SAF Heathrow Airport

Emirates has confirmed that it has begun operating some flights at London-Heathrow Airport (LHW) using aircraft powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Shell Aviation. 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag carrier announced on May 15, 2024, that it had taken delivery of over 3,000 metric tons of neat SAF, blended with conventional jet fuel.  

It’s the first time that Emirates has used SAF to power planes at Heathrow and represents the largest volume of the fuel type it has purchased to date. 

The initiative will run until the end of summer 2024 as part of Heathrow’s SAF Incentive Program (introduced in 2022), which ensures its affordability and accessibility for airlines operating at the airport. 

SAF that Emirates has purchased from Shell Aviation will be safely dropped into existing airport fueling infrastructure and aircraft jet engines.   

Emirates SAF Heathrow

“Emirates is eager to take this next step in our SAF journey with Shell Aviation and London Heathrow supporting us with this fuel supply arrangement in one of our biggest operations outside of Dubai. The LHR Incentive Programme will support the SAF market’s increasing momentum, allowing airlines like Emirates to take advantage of its availability and make it more commercially viable,” said Adel Al Redha, Deputy President and Chief Operations Officer, Emirates Airline. 

He added: “We hope that the initiative receives collective support of government authorities to boost more investment in SAF production in the future.” 

The Dubai-based airline said that it will be “accounting for, tracking and tracing the delivery of SAF at Heathrow as well as its sustainability attributes through robust reporting methodologies”. 

Emirates currently operates flights from Amsterdam, Paris, Lyon, and Oslo with SAF and last year the carrier worked with Shell Aviation to power some flights from Dubai International Airport (DXB) with the fuel variant

Later this month Emirates will be working with local partners at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) for the supply of SAF through the airport’s fueling systems.   

On November 22, 2023, Emirates was the first airline to power an Airbus A380 with SAF.  

The demonstration flight took off from Dubai International Airport with one of its four engines hooked up to Neste supplied SAF.    

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