The aviation industry has marked another sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) first with Emirates’ first use of the low emissions fuel in an A380 demonstration flight. 

The airline used 100% SAF in one of the four engines powering the A380 as it took off from Dubai International Airport in the airline’s home country of the United Arab Emirates as it sought to prove the capability of the fuel for use in the aircraft’s existing system. 

Adel Al Redha, chief operating officer at Emirates, said: “This is another proud moment for Emirates and our partners, as we put words into action with the research into and the trialling of higher concentrations of SAF to eventually lead to industry adoption of 100% SAF flying. 

“This marks another significant step in validating the use of SAF in one of the engines of the A380, a wide-body aircraft with four engines.” 

Demonstration of the fuel follows Emirates’ other projects showcasing the SAF, which provides a 70% reduction in emssions compared to traditional jet fuel, on various aircraft, including an 100% SAF demonstration of a Boeing 777-300ER using GE90 engines.  

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By GlobalData

The A380 flight, using Engine Alliance GP7200 engines, represents a milestone for manufacturer Airbus’ efforts to ensure all of its aircraft are 100% SAF capable by 2030 as the industry targets wide adoption of alternative fuel as a way of advancing net zero targets. 

Julie Kitcher, Airbus’ executive vice president of communications and corporate affairs said: “These fuels are the most effective way to address CO2 emissions in the aviation industry today and that they are supported increasingly by the world’s leading airlines. 

“SAF is vital to meeting the sector’s target of net-zero emissions in 2050, but needs the backing of the whole industry.” 

The fuel used in the airline’s A380 flight was provided by Neste, Virent and ENOC, Emirates has also signed an agreement with Shell for the delivery of 300,000 gallons of blended SAF beginning in Q4 2023. 

Emirates flight comes only shortly after Gulfstream Aerospace revealed it had conducted the world’s first 100% SAF powered transatlantic flight using one of its G600 aircraft with a trip from Savannah, Georgia in the US to Farnborough Airport in England.