Amsterdam – Air France-KLM, Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) have launched the world’s first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) program for the air cargo industry, enabling freight forwarders and shipping companies to reduce their CO2 emissions.

By investing in the Cargo SAF Program, customers will not only help pioneer the use of SAF but will also scale up the SAF market, contributing to a greener future for air transport, states AFKLMP in a press release announcing the initiative.

Adriaan den Heijer, EVP of Air France-KLM Cargo & Managing Director of Martinair, said, “Our commitment to reducing CO2 emissions is one of the cornerstones of our cargo strategy. The launch of a SAF programme for airfreight is an important step in our ambitious sustainability roadmap for the coming years. I invite all our customers to join us in creating a more sustainable cargo future.”

Photo: Wiki Commons

SAF: A Key Instrument in Reducing CO2 Emissions

According to AFLKMP’s press release, the first step towards a carbon-free future is carbon-neutral growth in the aviation industry, which implies there should be no increase in CO2 emissions despite traffic growth. “Investing in SAF is a necessary step in this process and one of the primary instruments in reducing CO2 emissions.”

For years, Air France (AF) and KLM (KL) have worked on fuel efficiency, seeking alternative fuel solutions. KL operated the world’s first commercial flight using SAF on 29 June 2011, with a flight from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG). Shortly thereafter, the KL began offering corporate customers the option of compensating for CO2 emissions from business travel by investing in SAF.

Furthermore, AFKLMP states that the SAF program is geared for shippers and forwarders to stimulate the market for SAF. As there is still no market per se, the idea is to develop it further by putting SAF higher on the agenda of all stakeholders.

Photo: Wiki Commons

Customers Determine Level of Engagement

The new SAF program also allows AFKLMP to team up with shippers and forwarders who share “our commitment to sustainability, making SAF more widely available at a more reasonable price, competing with standard jet fuel.”

Furthermore, it will enable shippers and forwarders to power a percentage of their flights with SAF. “Customers determine their own level of engagement and we ensure that their entire investment is used for sourcing SAF.”

“When investing in SAF, our customers receive a third-party audited report, justifying the purchased volume of SAF in relation to traffic and indicating the reduction in CO2 emissions achieved,” says AFKLMP.

Photo: Brando Farris/Airways

Examples of Worldwide Usage of Biofuel

In recent times more and more airlines are discovering the advantages of using biofuel. Emirates (EK) just made it to the news recently by getting its 116th Airbus A380 aircraft delivered from Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport (XFW). The record-setter aircraft was propelled by sustainable jet-fuel only, that was made in Finland for the carrier.

As aviation plays a significant role in global warming, carriers are trying to find ways to a more sustainable operation to reduce their emissions, cut costs and of course safe face in the eyes of new and existing customers. European airlines such as Lufthansa (LH) and KL’s passenger division have already been using biofuel since 2011 after they signed a letter of intent to invest in the development of environmentally friendly fuel for their aircraft.

On its part, Finnair (AY) aims to cut its CO2 emissions by 17% by the end of this year by using 12% mixture biofuel on selected long haul flights such as on the Helsinki (HEL) – San Francisco (SFO) route. The airline says it could reduce emissions by up to 16 tonnes of CO2 per flight with this method.

Featured image: KLM Cargo’s Boeing 747-400F aircraft is taxiing at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport after landing. (Photo: Roland Rimoczi)