US-based United Airlines has reached an agreement with Neste for the procurement of up to 52.5 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), initially for its flights at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

This move makes United the first US carrier to enter into an international purchase agreement for SAF.

The airline will purchase the green fuel over the next three years for its flights at Schiphol Airport initially, will other airports potentially being added later.

United chief sustainability officer Lauren Riley said: “Reducing carbon emissions from fuel is the fastest way United will reach our 100% green goal by 2050.

“As the airline that has invested more than any other airline in SAF production, it makes sense to expand our network of partners internationally with a leading company like Neste.

“The demand from our customers to limit their emissions from flying is growing exponentially, and this agreement means that United customers flying from Amsterdam, and potentially more airports, will be partners in our sustainability efforts.”

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For Neste, it is the largest SAF agreement with a passenger airline so far.

In the first year, Neste will deliver 2.5 million gallons of SAF to United Airlines in Amsterdam. The American airline will have the right to procure 20 million gallons of SAF in the second year.

In the third year, United will have the option to purchase up to 30 million gallons of SAF at Amsterdam or other locations that Neste can supply worldwide.

The agreement is enabled by Neste’s growth strategy, under which the company aims to produce 515 million gallons of SAF annually by the end of next year.

Neste Renewable Aviation executive vice-president Thorsten Lange said: “We’re excited to be partnering with United in this milestone purchase agreement and make our SAF available to United, also an industry leader in SAF investments.

“Our global, fast-growing SAF production and supply chain supports airlines and their customers in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Neste is committed to helping aviation transition to a more sustainable future, and we look forward to expanding our cooperation with United.”