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Virent and Neste Provide SAF for Emirates’ A380 Flight Demonstration

Emirates made aviation history by becoming the world’s first airline to conduct an A380 demonstration flight utilizing 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), thanks to the collaborative efforts of ABFA members Virent and Neste.

On November 22, the Emirates flight travelled from Dubai International Airport, with one of its four engines powered 100% by SAF. The successful flight highlights a crucial aspect of SAF and other advanced biofuels—their seamless integration with existing infrastructure. Unlike alternative low-carbon energy sources, SAF and advanced biofuels can be used as drop-in fuels, underscoring their pivotal role in an all-of-the-above approach to reduce emissions.

This groundbreaking achievement occurred just a week before Virgin Atlantic completed its inaugural flight using 100% SAF from London Heathrow to New York JFK, with Virent contributing Synthetic Aromatic Kerosene (SAK) for the Virgin Atlantic flight.

These flights underscore the benefits of collaboration between innovative companies. In addition to working with Virent and Neste, Emirates also brought in experts from Airbus, Engine Alliance, Pratt & Whitney, and ENOC to get its SAF powered flight off the ground.

At the recent OPIS RFS, RINs, & Biofuel Forum ABFA President discussed the future of advanced biofuels and predicted more milestones like these are to come. “Common sense carbon reduction is the conversation we need to be having, and that’s going to take off after 2024,” said McAdams on the panel.