Air France-KLM and TotalEnergies announced today a major sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) agreement, with the signing of an MoU for the delivery of more than 1 million cubic meters (1 billion liters) of SAF over 10 years, beginning in 2023.
The announcement follows the release earlier this year of a CO2 emissions reduction strategy by Air France-KLM, with goals to achieve 30% less CO2 emissions per passenger/km by 2030, and an ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The new strategy envisions utilizing 10% SAF on all flights by 2030, and 63% by 2050, alongside additional actions including fleet renewal, use of eco-piloting techniques, and the development of intermodal transport offerings for short-distance journeys, among others.
Air France-KLM’s SAF sourcing policy commits the company to purchasing SAF that does not compete with human food or animal feed supply, that are RSB or ISCC+ certified for their sustainability, and that are not derived from palm oil.
Benjamin Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Air France-KLM, said:
“Air France-KLM is fully committed to advancing SAF production in Europe and around the world. This Memorandum of Understanding with TotalEnergies is another building block in the development of French production that can meet the airlines’ needs, marking a milestone in the successful decarbonization of our business.”
The deals come as the aviation industry is facing increasing scrutiny as a significant source of GHG emissions, responsible for 2-3% of global emissions, with that figure set to rise dramatically over the coming decades if no action is taken. SAF is seen by market participants as one of the key tools for the industry to address its climate impact, as it generates significantly lower carbon emissions relative to conventional jet fuel.
According to TotalEnergies, its SAF reduces CO2 emissions by at least 80% on average over the entire lifecycle, compared with the fossil equivalent. The company’s SAF includes biofuels made from waste and residue sourced from the circular economy, such as animal fat and used cooking oil, as well as synthetic fuels. The company has set a goal to produce 1.5 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.
The fuel will be produced at the TotalEnergies’ biorefineries, and be made available to Air France-KLM group airlines primarily for flights departing from France and the Netherlands.
Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, said:
“This new partnership with Air France-KLM exemplifies the excellence of industry and French aerospace in committing to a more sustainable aviation sector. By directly reducing the carbon intensity of the energy products used by our air transport customers, we are actively working with them to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, together with society.”
The deal marks the latest in a series of major SAF agreements for Air France-KLM, including deals totaling roughly 2 billion liters announced in October with suppliers Neste and DG Fuels.