Air France-KLM and Total Energies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the delivery of more than 1 million cubic meters (1 billion liters) of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) over a 10-year period commencing in 2023.
The statement follows the introduction earlier this year of Air France-CO2 KLM's emissions reduction strategy, which aims to generate 30% less CO2 emissions per passenger/km by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. The new policy envisions using 10% SAF on all flights by 2030, and 63% by 2050, along with other efforts such as fleet renewal, adopting eco-piloting techniques and developing multimodal transport options for short-distance journeys, among others.
Air France-SAF KLM's sourcing policy requires the firm to purchase SAF that does not compete with human food or animal feed supplies, is RSB or ISCC+ certified for their sustainability and does not include palm oil.
Benjamin Smith, Air France-chief KLM's executive officer, stated:
"Air France-KLM is totally dedicated to advancing SAF production throughout Europe and the world. This Memorandum of Understanding with TotalEnergies is an important step in the development of French production capable of meeting the needs of the aviation industry, and represents a major milestone in the effective decarbonization of our business."
The agreements come at a time when the aviation industry is under increasing scrutiny as a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for 2% to 3% of global emissions, with this percentage projected to increase considerably over the next few decades if no action is taken. SAF is viewed by market participants as one of the industry's most important options for mitigating its climate effect, as it produces much fewer carbon emissions than regular jet fuel.
TotalEnergies claims that its SAF reduces CO2 emissions by at least 80% on average over its full lifecycle compared to its fossil equivalent. In addition to synthetic fuels, the company's SAF comprises biofuels derived from waste and residue sourced from the circular economy, such as animal fat and spent cooking oil. By 2030, the company aims to create 1.5 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel.
The fuel will be generated at the biorefineries of TotalEnergies and made accessible to Air France-KLM group airlines for flights departing primarily from France and the Netherlands.
The Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné, stated:
This new relationship with Air France-KLM illustrates the commitment of the French industry and aerospace to a more sustainable aviation industry. By directly reducing the carbon intensity of the energy products used by our air transport customers, we are actively collaborating with them and society to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
This is the most recent in a series of significant SAF agreements for Air France-KLM, including arrangements signed in October with suppliers Neste and DG Fuels totaling almost 2 billion gallons.