JetBlue announced today that it has achieved its goal of reaching carbon neutrality on its domestic flights, becoming the first major U.S. airline to achieve this milestone.

The airline announced that starting last month, it began offsetting CO2 emissions from jet fuel for all domestic flights. JetBlue acknowledged, however, that its climate offsetting strategy was intended to serve as a bridge to other industry-wide environmental improvements like fuel with lower emissions, and announced that it is investing in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), as well as the signing of an agreement to begin purchasing SAF from renewable fuel and SAF provider Neste.

Joanna Geraghty, President and Chief Operating Officer, JetBlue, said:

“The global pandemic reinforces the need to mitigate risks that threaten the health of our business. Our commitment to sustainability has only become more important as we prepare our business for a new climate reality. Even with a long recovery ahead following the COVID-19 pandemic, JetBlue remains focused on short- and long-term environmental opportunities, particularly lessening our largest impact – carbon emissions – and more fuel efficient flying.”

In addition to carbon offsets and the introduction of SAFs, JetBlue’s climate actions include investments to shrink its impact through fuel-saving technologies and aircraft, and advocating for a more fuel-efficient air traffic control system.

Neste is the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and SAF made from waste and residue raw materials. In its agreement with Neste, JetBlue announced that it has started purchasing and flying on SAF for flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). According to Neste, its fuel, in its neat form and over the lifecycle, helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel.

Chris Cooper, Vice President for Renewable Aviation at Neste North America, said:

“Neste is proud to be supplying and working with JetBlue, an airline with a strong track record of sustainability leadership. We are bringing additional SAF production capacity online and stand ready to provide JetBlue with even more of this low-emission, high-quality fuel to help them achieve carbon neutral growth. Our work with JetBlue is sending a clear signal to anyone wondering what the future of air travel is – it will be lower-emission, it will be more sustainable, and it will be increasingly powered by SAF.”

In a separate release, Neste announced that it has begun supplying three airlines, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines with SAF from SFO airport, and that it has commenced delivering SAF to SFO via pipeline.

Cooper said:

“The aviation industry is not alone in its journey toward reduced emissions and increased sustainability. Solutions like sustainable aviation fuel address both today’s needs and long-term goals, and collaboration is essential to enacting a greener future. Neste is proud to be taking a stand for sustainability through these partnerships with some of the most important airlines in North America.”