Dubai-based flag carrier Emirates has announced a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) agreement with Shell Aviation, which will oversee the provision of 300,000 gallons of blended SAF delivered to the airline’s Dubai hub.
The first delivery is expected in Q4 2023 and will be the first SAF supply to enter the Dubai International Airport (DXB) fuelling system.
This agreement follows previous ‘milestone moments’ in the airline’s SAF ventures, including its first demonstration flight of a Boeing 777-300ER using 100% SAF.
Emirates is set to track SAF data and purchase alternative fuels through Shell Aviation’s Avelia solutions.
Emirates president Tim Clark said he hoped the deal would kickstart the SAF sector in the Gulf.
Clark said: “We are proud to work in partnership with Shell to make a SAF supply available for Emirates in Dubai for the first time and to utilise the Avelia platform that provides business travellers the flexibility to align their sustainability targets and reduce their environmental footprint when travelling.
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“We hope that this collaboration develops further to provide an ongoing future supply of SAF in our hub, as there are currently no production facilities for SAF in the UAE.”
According to IATA data, there have been 57 offtake SAF agreements since 2022, and a significant increase in SAF flights. There were just 500 flights using blended SAF in 2016, but in 2023 there have already been nearly half a million flights.
Shell Corporate Travel VP Chu Yong-Yi emphasised the different roles across the supply chain which can transform the aviation industry: “Emirates and Shell have a long-standing commercial relationship and it is fantastic to build on this to now work together on decarbonisation. This agreement marks a step forward for the aviation industry in the UAE.
“Enabling SAF to be supplied at DXB for the first time is an important milestone and a perfect example of how the different parts of the aviation value chain have a role to play in unlocking progress on SAF.”