June 15, 2024

Virgin Atlantic joins SAF initiative with JV partners

Virgin Atlantic and its expanded joint venture partners – Delta, Air France and KLM – have joined forces for a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) programme specifically for corporate customers.

The programme allows corporate clients to improve their insight into their emissions through a “robust CO2 methodology”, helping them understand the true impact of their flying. 

The initiative is designed to help the industry build momentum towards SAF contributions and scale up production across the UK, Europe and the US.  

It is available to corporate customers or any size or location and across all four partner airlines.

Delta, Air France and KLM are already securing SAF funding from supportive customers throughout the US and Europe. 

Virgin Atlantic’s enrolment in the wider scheme will provide the airline with the ability to offer SAF within the UK from its Heathrow hub.

In February, Virgin Atlantic announced its first UK SAF supply, with the arrival of 2.5 million litres of Neste Oyi neat SAF into London Heathrow. Its target is for 10% of its fuel to be  SAF by 2030.   

Tom Maynard, Virgin Atlantic Head of UK and Europe Sales, said 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,” he said.

“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.”

Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic Chief Commercial Officer, told delegates at the ITM Autumn Conference on Monday, that governments globally need to support the manufacturing of SAF, including in the UK.

“Ironically for our partnership with Neste for SAF at Heathrow, the SAF is transported from The Netherlands,” he said. “We need the UK Government to support the growth of SAF production.”