Featured image: Nuno Seletti/Airways

Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines Partner to Promote SAF

DALLAS — Cathay Pacific (CX) and Singapore Airlines (SQ) join forces to advance the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the region.

This collaboration, aimed at addressing the aviation sector’s decarbonization challenges, was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by their CEOs at the 80th IATA AGM held in Dubai.

The partnership will focus on joint procurement of SAF, advocating for supportive regional policies, and developing a global framework for transparent and verifiable emission reductions. According to scmp.com, the airlines will share best practices to reduce single-use plastics, minimize waste, and improve energy efficiency in ground and cargo operations.

SAF, which can reduce life cycle carbon emissions by over 80%, is currently costly due to low production volumes. It includes biofuels from various waste products and synthetic fuels like e-kerosene, made from renewable resources.

This initiative represents one of many significant step towards sustainable aviation and reducing the industry's environmental impact.

9V-SMF Airbus A350-900 Singapore Airlines LIMC/MXP. Photo: Lorenzo Giacobbo/Airways

The Sum of All Parts

Despite aviation contributing only 2% of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2022, achieving the sector’s net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2050 remains challenging.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights that while new aircraft are becoming more efficient, growing demand for flights outpaces these improvements. But it's more than just novel propulsion systems.

Flightglobal.com cites Todd Spierling, director of electrification for Collins Aerospace. He says there has been a notable shift in the pace of progress toward achieving net-zero carbon emissions in 26 years.

“My position did not exist two years ago, we did not talk about electrification with the enthusiasm we do today,” said Spierling today during a panel discussion on the state of the sustainability ecosystem at the ILA Berlin trade show. “You are now seeing not only papers and lab work, you are seeing real demonstrator aircraft built,” he adds. “And you didn’t see that a few years ago.”

SAFs and e-fuels are but one component for the industry to reach its sustainability goals. Greener aerospace engineering, air traffic regulation and taxation, new routing paradigms and innovations in regional air mobility will all play a role toward net-zero emissions.

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