We’re collaborating to accelerate the development of a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) industry in Australia.

The use of SAF is central to achieving our interim targets and net zero by 2050 goal. With long-haul routes accounting for the majority of the Group’s emissions profile, SAF is currently the only viable technology/decarbonisation option available across all of our operations. Our target is for 10 per cent of our fuel use to come from SAF by 2030 and ~60 per cent by 2050. The risks around our SAF strategies are set out in the Climate Risk Management section of our 2022 Sustainability ReportOpens external site in a new window.

The use of SAF is increasing globally - particularly in Europe, the UK, and the US- as governments and industry work together to find ways to steadily decarbonise the aviation sector through government fuel subsidies, SAF blending mandates, financial incentives (e.g. capital grants, loans, tax incentives) and additional project-based funding.

In December 2021, Qantas became the first Australian airline to purchase SAF on an ongoing basisOpens external site which is being delivered at London Heathrow Airport. Since then, Qantas has acquired 3.2 million litres of SAF at London Heathrow for FY22, representing approximately 7,200t of abated CO2e. The SAF will represent (by volume) up to 15 per cent of our annual fuel needs out of Heathrow Airport, reducing carbon emissions by up to 10 per cent on this route, based on 2019 volumes from London Heathrow.

Infographic shows lifecycle of sustainable aviation fuel. Starting with collecting  sustainable feedstock, to converting into sustainable aviation fuel, to blending 50/50 with jet fuel, to delivering to aircraft. As a result the flight now has an 80% reduction in lifecycle emissions compared to conventional jet fuel.

In March 2022, the Qantas Group entered into an agreement to purchase SAF for delivery in California (Los Angeles/San Francisco) from 2025. We'll continue to look for opportunities to purchase SAF from international ports, particularly in the United States, to support our target of 10 per cent SAF in our overall fuel mix by 2030.

What is SAF?

SAF is non-conventionally derived aviation fuel that can be made from sustainable biogenic sources such as used cooking oils, council waste, plant oils, agricultural residues and non-biological sources.

Biogenic SAF has the potential to reduce emissions on a lifecycle basis, typically by up to 80 per cent compared with conventional jet fuel. Non-biogenic SAF or synthetic fuel is a pathway which utilises carbon dioxide, hydrogen and significant amounts of renewable electricity to synthesise a liquid fuel with favourable sustainability characteristics (emissions are reduced on a lifecycle basis by up to 90 per cent compared to fossil fuels).

In addition to the reduction of total life cycle CO2 emissions, SAF reduces direct emissions: particulate matter by up to 90 per cent and sulphur by 100 per cent, compared with conventional jet fuel. Reducing these emissions improves local air quality, particularly in areas with a high density of flight movements, such as airports.

Diagram showing SAF Production Pathways

Image: Key SAF production pathways. View full size (JPG).

Further information on our SAF strategy and how we're supporting the development of a local SAF industry can be found in our 2022 Sustainability ReportOpens external site in a new window.

Interested in joining us on the journey to driving the development of Australia’s SAF industry?