Virgin Atlantic and its joint venture partner Delta Air Lines have signed an agreement with SAF manufacturer Gevo.
The deal will see Virgin order 10 million US gallons of SAF every year for seven years, with the fuel being delivered into Los Angeles or San Francisco and supplied by Delta, which has an existing long-term partnership with Gevo.
The agreement with Delta represents 20% of Virgin Atlantic’s 2030 SAF target and is equivalent to fuelling more than 500 flights across the transatlantic from Los Angeles.
Gevo’s production process separates sugars and proteins from non-edible industrial corn grown using climate smart agricultural practices.
The sugars are then used to make SAF and the proteins are fed to livestock, whose manure can be used in biogas digestors to produce renewable natural gas and agricultural fertiliser.
Holly Boyd Boland, VP Corporate Development at Virgin Atlantic, said: “We know that SAF has a fundamental role to play in aviation decarbonisation. The demand from airlines is clear and Virgin Atlantic is committed to supporting the scale up of SAF production at pace. We cannot meet our collective ambition of Net Zero 2050 without it.
“We’re proud that our fleet leads the way on fuel and carbon efficiency, but we know that more needs to be done. We’re excited to be partnering with Delta to further reduce our carbon emissions on flights across the transatlantic.”
Pam Fletcher, Delta’s CSO and Head of Corporate Innovation, added: “We need to create strong demand signals to ensure SAF can scale affordably to the levels our industry needs on the path to net zero by 2050. That’s why we’re excited about this joint partnership with Virgin Atlantic and Gevo that brings further commitment to SAF for the benefit of customers, our industry and the planet.”