By Chase Hagl
Oneworld Airline Alliance Purchases Sustainable Aviation Fuel
On Tuesday, The oneworld airline alliance announced their intentions to purchase 350 million gallons of blended sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) from renewable fuel company Aemetis, further strengthening their commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Eight members have signed the memorandum with Aemetis, with the option to allow additional alliance members to sign in the coming months. The eight members include American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas and Qatar Airways.
Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney stated, “This announcement for the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel continues to demonstrate what we can achieve together as an alliance and underlines the importance of collaboration in the important work to advance environmental sustainability. This latest milestone signals our commitment in driving forward momentum for the development of sustainable aviation fuel, which is crucial in reducing carbon emissions in the aviation sector.”
Set to make their first delivery in 2024, oneworld’s purchase of 350 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel will be evenly distributed throughout a seven-year term and will fuel operations out of San Francisco International Airport.
The blended sustainable aviation fuel purchased meets the international standards for a blended fuel and consists of 60 percent petroleum jet fuel and 40 percent sustainable aviation fuel.
The 350 million gallons will come from and be produced at the Aemetis Carbon Zero plant in Riverbank, California. Currently, under development, the plant will utilize waste wood to produce hydroelectric and other renewable power available onsite, in turn allowing for the production of jet fuel, renewable diesel, and other byproducts. The plant — with sustainability in mind — will also reduce the air pollution in local communities as well as create upwards of 2,000 direct and indirect jobs in the area
Formed in 1998 by American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas, the oneworld alliance remains the smallest alliance of airlines behind both Star Alliance and SkyTeam. Carrying 535 million passengers in 2018, oneworld consists of 14 carriers; Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan.
The alliance was the first to commit to the industry’s commitment of net zero emissions by 2050 and has been making strides to help accomplish this goal since. In August of 2021, oneworld released its carbon roadmap outlining its path to net-zero emissions. A primary pathway of reaching carbon neutrality is through the use of sustainable aviation fuels, making this partnership a major step in the right direction.
On Sept. 22, the oneworld alliance signaled its commitment to the net-zero emissions goal through support of the World Economic Forum Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition’s 10% SAF by 2030.
“Environmental sustainability is a fundamental priority for us as an alliance.” stated oneworld CEO Rob Gurney. “Notwithstanding the challenges we currently face as an industry, our member airlines are deeply committed to taking action to reduce emissions. This is a collective role we can play as an industry and we hope our efforts will continue to create momentum in the journey towards decarbonising aviation.”