Emirates to conduct test flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel

Dubai-based airline will work with regulators to secure approvals for experimental type certification


Waheed Abbas

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Photo: File
Photo: File

Published: Tue 16 Nov 2021, 12:10 PM

Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates will conduct a test flight using 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by the end of 2022 to help minimise CO2 emissions.

The airline has signed an agreement with GE Aviation, a subsidiary of US-based conglomerate GE, for the test flight.

The test flight will demonstrate how wide-body commercial aircraft using jet fuel made from alternative sources can lower lifecycle CO2 emissions compared to petroleum-based fuels with no operational issues.

SAF is synthetically derived from alternative renewable sources and developed more sustainably, as opposed to conventional petroleum-based fuels. SAF can start from various feedstock sources, such as oils from plants, algae, greases, fats, waste streams, alcohols, sugars, and captured CO2.

According to the International Air Transport Association (Iata), more than 45 airlines now have experience with SAF and over 370,000 flights have taken to the skies using SAF since 2016. It is estimated that around 100 million litres of SAF will be produced in 2021.


SAF can reduce emissions by up to 80 per cent during its full lifecycle.

Emirates airline will work with regulators to secure approvals for experimental type certification, and will also coordinate with the airframe, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) on pre-and post-flight requirements, in addition to closely working with SAF suppliers on procurement and delivery logistics.

The Dubai-based airline received its first A380 powered by SAF in December 2020.

“Emirates is committed to supporting initiatives that help minimise its CO2 emissions, and we’ve already made great strides in fuel efficiency and conservation as well as operational advancements across different areas of our business... Our partnership with GE Aviation to prepare for the test flight will be an important step towards securing certification of flights that are powered by 100 per cent SAF,” said Adel Al Redha, chief operating officer, Emirates.


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