UK long-haul airline Virgin Atlantic is the latest carrier to launch a corporate SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) programme allowing clients to contribute towards the cost of the fuel.
Virgin Atlantic said the SAF programme would be available to corporate clients of “any size or location”, and complements similar schemes already being operated by joint venture partners Delta and Air France-KLM.
The airline said the move would allow business travel clients to “better understand their emissions” from flights through a “robust CO2 methodology”, which can be used in corporate carbon reports.
Delta, Air France and KLM have already secured funding for SAF from corporate customers in Europe and the US. Virgin’s participation in the wider scheme will enable it to offer SAF to clients in the UK from its hub at Heathrow.
Tom Maynard, head of UK and Europe sales at Virgin Atlantic, said the joint venture was the first to offer acorporate sustainable aviation fuel programme.
“We know we are not the only industry with ambitious targets and that’s why our scheme has been designed with our corporate customers at its core,” added Maynard. “Our goal is to assist them in meeting their sustainability targets by enabling them to easily understand their emissions and support future SAF contributions.”
In February 2022, Virgin Atlantic announced its first supply of SAF in the UK, with the arrival of 2.5 million litres of the sustainable fuel from supplier Neste Oyi at London Heathrow. The airline has set a target of using 10 per cent SAF to power its flights by 2030.
“SAF represents the greatest opportunity for Virgin Atlantic to decarbonise in the short to medium term, but we still require cross industry and government action to support commercialisation of SAF at scale, particularly in the UK,” said Maynard.
“Our fuel programme will help us as we continue to work closely with our sustainability partners, as well as our joint venture colleagues, to find innovative solutions to achieve this goal.”