• New Aviation Climate Taskforce (ACT) together with Boston Consulting Group aims to tackle the CO2 emission challenge
  • News comes following Virgin Atlantic’s interim carbon targets announcement on mission to achieve net zero by 2050

Virgin Atlantic has joined global airline leaders including Air France KLM and Delta Air Lines, with Boston Consulting Group, in the formation of the Aviation Climate Taskforce (ACT) – a new non-profit organisation founded to accelerate breakthroughs in emerging technologies to decarbonise aviation.

As the aviation sector focuses on decarbonisation, a portfolio of solutions will be required to reach net zero by 2050 and to scale up sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) to meet a 10% SAF target by 2030. ACT will stimulate innovation in the next generation of technologies, principally focussed on critical medium-term solutions, such as synthetic fuel and direct air capture. Over time, the portfolio will expand to include more near-term solutions, such as emerging bio-based Sustainable Aviation Fuel pathways, and long-term solutions, such as hydrogen technologies. ACT’s mission will be supported by two pillars: an Innovation Network and a Collaboration Forum to help accelerate innovation and expedite adoption.

Shai Weiss, CEO at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We’re proud to be founding members of the Aviation Climate Taskforce. Working with industry partners to accelerate technological innovation and reduce carbon emissions over the next 30 years. We strongly echo the need for a portfolio approach and continued collaboration across the energy and aviation value chains. Through its focus on breakthrough technologies, the Aviation Climate Taskforce, will support near and medium-term innovations in emerging SAF pathways, as well as longer term breakthroughs such as electric and hydrogen flight.”  

Earlier this month, Virgin Atlantic announced ambitious carbon targets as part of a renewed mission to achieve net zero by 2050. The targets include increased fleet efficiency and committing to the use of 10% Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) in 2030 and importantly, reinforce the airline’s commitment to embed sustainability through innovation, transparency and accountability to do more for the protection of the planet.

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Notes to editors:     

ACT’s Pillars

ACT’s Innovation Network will accelerate technological breakthroughs by focusing on early-stage research, using proven tools to map the vast amount of research across the ecosystem. With a clear view of the existing networks of innovations in hand, ACT will provide grant funding and host innovation challenges in order to stimulate new patterns of collaboration and research.

The Collaboration Forum will support the Innovation Network by identifying other ways to jointly reduce carbon emissions, such as expediting the adoption and scale-up of next generation technologies, through engagement with experts and thought leaders.

In the future, ACT intends to launch an Investment Fund, supported by third party funding, that provides capital to rapidly scale-up emerging technologies that have the potential to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of air travel.

Over the course of its first year, ACT will concentrate on selecting focus areas within these technologies and setting up the Innovation Network.

ACT and its founding members would like to acknowledge the support and assistance of the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in developing ACT’s legal and constitutional framework.

About Aviation Climate Taskforce

The Aviation Climate Taskforce (ACT) is a non-profit coalition focused on accelerating breakthroughs in emerging technology to drive the decarbonization of the aviation sector. ACT will support the advancement of emerging technologies through two key pillars, an Innovation Network and Collaboration Forum. The Innovation Network will use proven tools to pinpoint collaboration opportunities across the ecosystem, and provide grant funding as well as utilize challenge platforms to tackle critical barriers from novel angels. The Collaboration Forum will identify other ways to expedite the adoption and scale-up of next generation technologies. ACT was founded in 2021 by leading global airlines in conjunction with The Boston Consulting Group. ACT welcomes additional airlines and other members of the aviation ecosystem to join us. For more information please visit our website:

About Virgin Atlantic      

Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2020, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the fourth year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs 5,900 people worldwide, flying customers to 27 destinations across four continents. Alongside shareholder and Joint Venture partner Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic operates a leading transatlantic network, with onward connections to over 200 cities around the world. On 3 February 2020, Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic launched an expanded Joint Venture, offering a comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers.       

  Sustainability remains central to the airline and since September 2019, Virgin Atlantic has welcomed seven brand new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, helping to transform the fleet into one of the youngest, quietest and most fuel efficient in the sky. By 2022, the airline will operate a streamlined fleet of 37 twin engine aircraft following the retirement of its B747-400s and A340-600s, making its simplified fleet 10% more efficient than before the Covid-19 crisis impacted.     

  For more information visit, or via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @virginatlantic @virginholidays    

  For the latest information on the measures we are taking to ensure our customers fly safe and well with Virgin Atlantic, please visit