DALLAS – Asiana Airlines (OZ) of South Korea has inked a contract with Shell to guarantee a supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) beginning in 2026.
The airline would “preferentially receive” SAF through Shell’s Asia-Pacific and Middle East networks for five years starting in 2026, according to a memorandum of understanding between the two businesses.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel is a type of alternative fuel that has been designed to reduce the environmental impact of aviation. SAF is made from renewable resources such as biofuels or synthetic fuels and has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft by up to 80%.
The Push Factor
SAF will be required by the European Union beginning in 2025, so securing SAF supply will be critical for the airline. Regarding the quantity of SAF or the terms of the price, OZ made no mention of either.
The use of SAF offers other benefits such as improved air quality, reduced noise pollution, and improved energy security. Additionally, SAF can be blended with traditional jet fuel, allowing for a gradual transition to a more sustainable form of aviation fuel.
Korean Air (KE), which struck a comparable SAF contract with Shell in September 2022, is currently taking over Asiana. Korean Air CEO Walter Cho stated that the carrier is in the “final phases” of purchasing OZ, a deal that was first announced in 2020, in a memo to employees on January 1.
Chinese regulators gave the purchase the green light in December 2022, after KE slowly won clearance from international regulatory bodies. It is still awaiting EU and US approval.
Featured image: Asiana Airlines HL7640 Airbus A380-800. Photo: Johann Heske/Airways