JetBlue announced today a major sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) offtake agreement with bioenergy developer SG Preston. Under the terms of the agreement, SG Preston will deliver at least 670 million gallons of blended SAF to JetBlue over 10 years, fueling its flight operations at New York City-area airports John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

According to JetBlue, the deal will enable the airline to convert 30% of its fuel buy across the three airports from traditional Jet-A fuel to SAF, avoiding approximately 1.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.

With SAF purchases under the deal expected to reach more than $1 billion, the announcement marks JetBlue’s largest single jet fuel contract. Prices for the SAF are expected to be competitive to traditional Jet-A fuel, and JetBlue anticipates no material impact to the airline’s total fuel costs.

Air transport has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years as a significant contributor to GHG emissions, accounting for an estimated 2% of global GHG emissions. SAF is seen by market participants as one of the key tools for the industry to address its emissions impact, as it generates 80% less lifecycle carbon emissions than conventional jet fuel. SAF is generally produced from sustainable resources, like waste oils and agricultural residues, or even from carbon captured from the air, rather than from fossil fuels.

Robin Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue, said:

“We recognize that airlines have a responsibility to decarbonize our operations and usher in an era of truly sustainable travel. We are therefore stepping up as an industry with commitments and clear actions. However, we can’t do it alone. In order for our industry to meet our ambitious targets, we are asking for collaboration and leadership from our key stakeholders – fuel suppliers, aircraft and engine manufacturers, and governments to play a critical role in helping the drive toward net zero.”

The agreement significantly accelerates one of JetBlue’s key sustainability goals, announced earlier this year, for 10% of total jet fuel to be from blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030. With delivery under the new deal expected to begin in 2023, JetBlue anticipates reaching nearly eight% SAF usage by the end of that year. In July, the airline also announced an agreement enabling the airline to begin using SAF on flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Hayes said:

“We are well past the point of vague climate commitments and corporate strategies. Earlier this year, we set specific, dated, and aggressive emissions targets. And now we are physically changing the fuel in our aircraft to meet these commitments. At JetBlue, we’re heavily investing in SAF because we see it as our most promising means of rapidly and directly reducing aircraft emissions in the near-term.”