Teesside International Airport (MME) has collaborated with Air France-KLM on the airline’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) programme, becoming the first UK airport to do so.

Aimed at supporting the decarbonisation push, this programme will focus on upgrades to aircraft fleets and investments in alternative, non-fossil, fuels.

As part of this initiative, Air France-KLM will work with organisations to expedite the production and adoption of SAF.

According to them, less than 1% of commercial aircraft use SAF presently.

With this effort, the airline aims to transition from traditional fuels and lower its carbon footprint.

Air France-KLM (UK & Ireland) general manager Fahmi Mahjoub said: “I am very excited to welcome Teesside International Airport as the first airport in the UK to join our SAF programme.

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“This is a major step forward in addressing our sustainability challenge as an aviation company by partnering with a UK airport to help the environment.

“Today marks the start of a new level of cooperation across the industry, and we hope that this news helps spread the awareness in the UK and that more companies will join us in making SAF more readily available around the globe.”

Additionally, the programme supports Teesside’s plans to make the airport’s buildings and infrastructure net-zero before 2030.

Teesside Airport managing director Phil Forster said: “Partnering with the airlines that have long supported our airport to address the critical issues facing the industry is central to achieving these aims that will benefit the world.

“We’re excited to be the UK’s first airport to sign up to this programme, setting out our stall as a leader in supporting emerging technologies in the sector.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us to decarbonise our airport from top to bottom, not just in its day-to-day operations but also in its flights, but with initiatives like this, I’ve no doubt we can succeed.”