European budget airline Ryanair has purchased 500t of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from oil, gas and chemicals company OMV as it continues its work to reach a 12.5% SAF use target by 2030.

The purchase is part of the airline’s memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreement made with OMV last year for access to purchase up to 160,000t of SAF from OMV in Austria, Germany and Romania through 2030, as part of its ambitions to reach net zero by 2050, in line with the industry standard.

Ryanair’s head of sustainability Steven Fitzgerald said: “SAF plays a key role in our Pathway to Net Zero decarbonisation strategy, in which we have committed to increasing our use of SAF over the coming years—a commitment that this deal with OMV will help move further forward.”

The deal builds on another MoU signed between Ryanair and Spanish energy company Repsol earlier this year, which also outlined potential access to up to 155,000t of SAF between 2025 and 2030 for the airlines’ Spain and Portugal operations. 

The fuel, which can reduce emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional fuel, has gained popularity within the aviation industry as a key part of achieving its net zero goals, with most of the major airlines investing in the technology, including Emirates, United and Virgin Atlantic.

Martijn van Koten, OMV’s executive vice-president of fuels and feedstock, said: “We are building a growth business for sustainable aviation fuel to support the industry’s journey towards a more sustainable future.

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“We are proud of our partnership with Ryanair that allows both companies to leverage their expertise in promoting the use of SAF. This facilitates the transition towards the application of more sustainable forms of energy and helps reduce the climate impact of aviation.”

OMV has also previously agreed to supply SAF to other European airlines, including Austrian Airlines, which also partnered with the company to produce the fuel at a factory in Austria.