French companies TotalEnergies and Safran have reached a strategic alliance to develop technical and commercial solutions for decarbonising the aviation sector.

Under this agreement, the two firms will utilise their know-how to develop and deploy sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and create an informed understanding of the overall value chain and use cases.

The initiative will support TotalEnergies and Safran’s objective to reach net-zero CO₂ emissions by 2050 and fast-track the reduction of carbon emissions in the aviation industry.

TotalEnergies chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné said: “We are pleased to join forces with Safran to help meet the challenge of decarbonising the aviation industry together.

“This strategic alliance will contribute to the emergence of a French value chain for sustainable aviation fuel and electric aircraft.”

The partnership between the two companies will primarily focus on research, technology and innovation, as well as the supply of SAF produced in France by TotalEnergies to decarbonise Safran’s aeroplane and helicopter engine tests in France.

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Additionally, the partnership aims to bring awareness among public and private players in France, Europe and worldwide.

Initially, the two companies will focus on making current engines compatible with a fuel comprising up to 100% SAF.

In the long run, the partnership aims to optimise engine/fuel energy efficiency and environmental performance.

The tie-up may also include other areas, which includes adapting fuel systems to SAF or developing new-generation battery systems for electric motors.

Safran CEO Olivier Andriès said: “Our ambition is to develop breakthrough technologies for ultra-efficient engines that are 20% more fuel-efficient than the current LEAP engine and 100% compatible with sustainable fuels.

“This cooperation with TotalEnergies demonstrates our commitment to limiting our environmental footprint, contributing to carbon neutrality in the aviation industry and preserving a mode of transportation that delivers essential economic, social and cultural benefits.”

Currently, the French legislation has made it mandatory for aeroplanes to use at least 1% SAF by 2022 for all flights starting in France while the European Commission (EC) has called for up to 2% by 2025 and 5% by 2030 as part of the European Green Deal.