- Virgin Atlantic has secured a significant volume of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as part of a new agreement with Delta Air Lines
- The agreement will see Virgin Atlantic purchase 10M US Gallons (USG) of SAF per year for seven years, with the fuel being delivered into Los Angeles or San Francisco
- The announcement marks a further step in Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to 10% SAF by 2030
Virgin Atlantic has today announced the purchase of 10m USG per annum of SAF to be produced by Gevo, Inc. and supplied by Virgin Atlantic’s joint venture partner, Delta Air Lines. The agreement with Delta builds on the existing long-term partnership between Delta and Gevo and increases the use of SAF from the US West Coast. SAF produced by Gevo will come from one of its future production facilities.
Gevo’s production process separates sugars and proteins from non-edible industrial corn grown using climate smart agricultural practices. The sugars are then used to make SAF and the proteins are fed to livestock, whose manure can be used in biogas digestors to produce renewable natural gas and agricultural fertilizer. Virgin Atlantic has been pioneering sustainability leadership for over 15-years and operates a 70% next generation fleet, making it one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the skies. This has contributed to a reduction in Virgin Atlantic’s total carbon emissions of 36% over the last decade.
After fleet transformation, SAF at scale represents the greatest opportunity to reduce carbon emissions in the next decade to help to achieve Net Zero 2050. This new SAF agreement with Delta represents 20% of Virgin Atlantic’s 2030 SAF target and is equivalent to fuelling more than 500 flights across the transatlantic from Los Angeles.
Global SAF production today represents less than [0.1%]1 of jet fuel, making it imperative for the aviation industry to accelerate change. This collaboration between Delta and Virgin Atlantic on a long-term supply of SAF to Virgin Atlantic is demonstrative of increasing demand and the willingness to invest today to support SAF production for the years ahead.
Holly Boyd Boland, VP Corporate Development at Virgin Atlantic commented: “We know that SAF has a fundamental role to play in aviation decarbonisation. The demand from airlines is clear and Virgin Atlantic is committed to supporting the scale up of SAF production at pace. We cannot meet our collective ambition of Net Zero 2050 without it.
“We’re proud that our fleet leads the way on fuel and carbon efficiency, but we know that more needs to be done. We’re excited to be partnering with Delta to further reduce our carbon emissions on flights across the transatlantic.”
Pam Fletcher, Delta’s CSO and Head of Corporate Innovation said: “We need to create strong demand signals to ensure SAF can scale affordably to the levels our industry needs on the path to net zero by 2050. That’s why we’re excited about this joint partnership with Virgin Atlantic and Gevo that brings further commitment to SAF for the benefit of customers, our industry and the planet.”
For further press information please contact the Virgin Atlantic press office on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01293 747373.
About Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2022, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the sixth year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs over 6,500 people worldwide, flying customers to 29 destinations across four continents. Virgin Atlantic recently continued its expansion in the US, announcing a new route to Tampa from November 2022, following the launch of flights to Austin in May 2022.
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. Virgin Atlantic is also set to join the global airline alliance SkyTeam in 2023. Virgin Atlantic will become SkyTeam’s first and only UK member airline, enhancing the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport.
Sustainability remains central to the airline, which is committed to achieving net zero by 2050. To meet this goal, Virgin Atlantic welcomed the first of 16 A330-900neos in October 2022. The A330-900neos are equipped with the most fuel-efficient engines and designed to be 11% more fuel and carbon efficient than the A330-300s that they replace and deliver a 50% reduction in airport noise contour. These investments reaffirm the airline’s dedication to flying one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies, resulting in the reduction of carbon emissions by 20%, increasing to 30% in 2027.
For more information visit www.virginatlantic.com or via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @virginatlantic.