British Airways parent company IAG secures its largest-ever deal for sustainable aviation fuel, totalling nearly 1 billion litres

ByTravelling For Business

March 3, 2024
American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), the world’s leading B2B travel platform, and Shell Aviation today announced that Google has joined its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) program.American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), the world’s leading B2B travel platform, and Shell Aviation today announced that Google has joined its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) program.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) has unveiled its most substantial Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) procurement agreement to date.

Partnering with Twelve, a producer of advanced e-SAF (electro-fuels derived from power-to-liquid technology), IAG is set to receive a supply of cutting-edge e-SAF crafted from CO2, water, and renewable energy sources.

In a landmark contract spanning fourteen years, Twelve will deliver 785,000 tonnes of e-SAF to support the operations of IAG’s five prominent European airlines, namely British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and LEVEL. This next-generation fuel promises to slash lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% compared to conventional jet fuel. Notably, IAG stands as the inaugural European airline consortium to announce such an e-SAF agreement. This collaboration positions IAG to further elevate its SAF utilisation, which accounted for approximately 12% of the global supply in 2023.

This significant deal marks a pivotal stride in scaling up e-SAF, crafted via power-to-liquid technology, towards its full potential within the aviation sector. Notably, e-SAF boasts freedom from feedstock constraints, substantial emissions reductions vis-à-vis traditional jet fuel, and a relatively modest demand for land and water resources.

Headquartered in Berkeley, California, Twelve emerges as a trailblazer and global frontrunner in carbon transformation and power-to-liquid technology. Armed with patented processes, Twelve specializes in generating premium synthetic fuels from renewable electricity and CO2. Currently, the company is in the process of constructing a demonstration facility in Moses Lake, Washington, slated to commence SAF deliveries to IAG as early as 2025. The alliance between the two entities germinated in 2020 when Twelve joined IAG’s Hangar 51 startup accelerator initiative, aimed at propelling Twelve’s technology into commercial viability.

For IAG, this collaboration with Twelve constitutes a significant leap forward in its trajectory towards 2030. With a firm commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, including a targeted 10% utilization of Sustainable Aviation Fuel by 2030, IAG is making tangible strides. Notably, the group has already secured one-third of the SAF requisite to meet its 2030 objective, positioning it as a pioneering European airline consortium in setting such a target.

Luis Gallego, CEO of IAG, remarked, “We have a roadmap to achieve net zero by 2050, including a target to fly with 10% Sustainable Aviation Fuel by 2030. The shortage of sustainable fuel globally continues to be a problem for our industry, although innovative companies like Twelve are an important part of the solution. This new deal will contribute towards our 2030 SAF target. We would like to see similar projects scale in Europe, and we look forward to working with governments across our key markets to build a SAF industry to deliver jobs, economic growth, and a stable supply of SAF.”

Nicholas Flanders, Co-Founder and CEO of Twelve, added, “We are proud to partner with IAG on this historic deal to advance sustainable aviation with our e-SAF that has up to 90% lower emissions than conventional jet fuel. Our power-to-liquid E-Jet® fuel offers industry-leading emissions reduction potential with the added benefits of an abundant feedstock supply and significantly smaller land and water footprints compared to alternative SAF pathways.”

This monumental agreement represents the most extensive e-SAF commitment announced by any European airline group, garnering IAG the esteemed ‘SAF Offtake Deal of the Year’ award at the inaugural SAF Investor Conference and Awards held in London on February 27th.

In line with its sustainability roadmap, IAG continues to invest in new aircraft, implement fuel efficiency measures, procure and invest in SAF, and advance carbon removal initiatives to offset any residual emissions from its operations. Notably, the Group’s Project Speedbird in the UK, a collaboration between LanzaJet, Nova Pangaea, and British Airways focusing on ethanol-to-jet fuel conversion, recently received a £9 million grant from the UK Government’s Advanced Fuels Fund.