With airlines looking toward Sustainable Air Fuel, they seem to be keen to obtain and use it. Malaysia Airlines is joining the party, with the airline having, today operated its first passenger flight with this fuel type.
Like a lot of other carriers, Malaysia Airlines used Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). It flew for the first time on MH603 from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore – with the plane fuelled at the airline’s base of Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The flight was operated with a Boeing 737-800 aircraft fuelled by a blend of conventional jet fuel and Neste’s SAF, which is produced from 100% renewable waste and residue raw materials, such as animal fat waste that was used for the SAF fuelling on this flight.
The fuel produced by Neste was supplied through a supply deal with PETCO Trading (UK) Ltd, which is PETRONAS’ marketing and trading arm based in Europe, while product handling and refuelling were carried out by PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) at KLIA.
Following today’s milestone, the long-term supply of SAF will be made available at KLIA for potential airline customers, as well as future flights operated by sister airlines under Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), including Firefly.
Philip See, Group Chief Sustainability Officer of MAG, said,
“MAG aims to be a pioneer in using SAF for flights in Malaysia as part of our commitment to achieving socio-economic development and reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We have taken proactive measures in minimising our carbon footprint from the ground up through measures taken within our operations, including fuel efficiency programmes such as SAF.
With the commencement of our first passenger flight using SAF, we encourage passengers to join us on this journey as we take the necessary steps to minimise our environmental impacts and plan for more flights powered by SAF; for the betterment of the industry, nation, and future of our planet. Moving forward, we will look to make SAF the cleaner and more viable energy option for our regular flights by 2025.”
Azrul Osman Rani, PDB’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer said,
“In line with PETRONAS’ commitment towards achieving Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050, exploring the supply of SAF at KLIA is a natural progression for us with aviation fuel being one of our key products. With two proven flights, PDB has demonstrated its capabilities and infrastructure readiness in supplying SAF in KLIA from now onwards to support the aviation industry’s sustainability agenda. Coupled with commitment from the special taskforce, we are confident that we will be able to jointly accelerate the transformation of the Malaysian aviation industry into a sustainable one.”
Sami Jauhiainen, Vice President APAC, Renewable Aviation at Nest added
“This collaboration with PETRONAS enables our first supply of Neste MY SAF to Malaysia,”
“I am excited to see how countries and airlines in the Asia-Pacific region are setting ambitious targets to decarbonize aviation and increasingly many airlines are taking SAF into use to reduce their emissions and enable their travellers to fly more sustainably. Neste is committed to play its part with the ongoing expansion of our global production capacity to 1.5 million tons of SAF by end of 2023, ready to support the Asia-Pacific and global aviation markets.”
Supply will be key
With airlines seeking to improve their green credentials, SAF is a “drop-in” replacement that can enable them to continue operations.
As I’ve noted in articles that have featured SAF, there is an issue – and that’s Neste will need to scale up to meet the insatiable demand of airlines – with SAF production being a literal drop in the ocean at current compared to the amount of conventional fuel being used.
The challenge for SAF continues as airlines seek to improve their image, as well as reduce the use of fossil fuels.
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