The national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Etihad Airways, has received the first delivery of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Japan from Finnish company Neste and Japan’s Itochu.

Neste MY SAF will be supplied to the UAE carrier’s aircraft at Narita International Airport.

This is the first time that the green fuel will be delivered to an overseas carrier at a Japanese airport.

Neste Asia-Pacific Renewable Aviation vice-president Sami Jauhiainen said: “This delivery of our Neste MY SAF to Etihad is a major step forward in further growing the use of our SAF in the Japanese market.

“Our partnership with ITOCHU aims to support domestic and international airlines, as well as other fuel suppliers at Haneda and Narita International Airports, in accelerating the adoption of SAF to reduce the carbon emissions of flying.”

The SAF delivery is supported by an expanded alliance between Neste and ITOCHU, which aims at increasing the availability of green fuel in Japan.

ITOCHU will distribute Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel in Japan, initially making it available at the country’s Tokyo Haneda and Narita airports.

Neste and ITOCHU also aim to meet the target set by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to reach 10% usage of SAF by the end of the decade.

Etihad Aviation Group CEO Tony Douglas said: “Etihad has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and reducing our 2019 emissions by 50% by 2035.

“For SAF to become a viable mid-term solution for aviation decarbonisation, it requires collaboration between governments, corporates and the aviation industry to increase SAF supply and availability at airports, so it can be adapted more broadly.

“Our partnership with ITOCHU and Neste is an example of the type of industry collaboration that is required to bring widespread SAF adoption to the industry. We are extremely proud to be the first international airline to procure and use Japanese supplied SAF on flights departing Japan.”