ANA Looks To Sustainable Aviation Fuel

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is planning to supplement outbound Japan flights with sustainable aviation fuel. It will use this fuel from this month from both Haneda International Airport and Narita International Airport, although it is unknown at this time just how many flights will fly with it.

ANA, Boeing 767, Engine Fire
ANA is making the switch to sustainable fuel. Photo: Getty Images

What is Sustainable Aviation Fuel?

ANA has partnered up with Neste, according to a press release given to Simple Flying, who will provide a special kind of sustainable aviation fuel. This fuel is created from a combination of sustainable sources, waste products, and raw materials left over from creating other fuels before being blended with other jet fuel.

Using this fuel instead of normal full strength jet fuel, an airline can produce 80% fewer greenhouse gases at the same price and using the same airport infrastructure.

You can read more about what jet fuel is here and how much it costs to refuel an aircraft.

“We recognize the major role SAF has to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions of aviation, both in the short and long term. Through this new collaboration, we enable the supply of SAF for the first time in Asia, says Thorsten Lange, Executive Vice President for Renewable Aviation at Neste.

However, at this stage, it is unclear how many flights will actually be powered by the fuel as the provider is only outlaying 100,000 tonnes (26.4 million US gal). There are plans to increase supply up to 1.5 million tonnes (396 million US gal) to expand a refinery in Singapore and Rotterdam. However, the latter still relies on external funding.

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ANA and JAL Domestic Reductions
ANA will be the only airline in Japan using this fuel. Photo: Getty Images

Why is this a smart move by ANA?

There is a big reason why this is a smart move by ANA. The airline’s current operations are minimal at best thanks to the current crisis, and this fuel rollout won’t take very long at all, yet the PR benefits will be significant. ANA will be able to use the fuel for operations leaving Japan and look green while doing so.

“While COVID-19 has forced us to make adjustments, we remain committed to meeting our sustainability goals. We recognize that preserving our environment requires that humanity work together to achieve a common goal, and we are proud to be doing our part to protect our shared home,” said Yutaka Ito, Executive Vice President at ANA overseeing Procurement in the press release

The airline had previously pledged to reduce its 2050 CO2 emissions from airline operations by 50% compared to 2005 figures. This move to sustainable fuel is in addition to replacing older equipment and other energy-saving measures.

ANA All Nippon Airways Japan Getty Images
With less demand, it will be an easier switch for the airline. Photo: Getty Images

As mentioned above, this fuel change doesn’t affect the bottom line (it costs the same), and facilitating the purchase will likely give the airline more bargaining power with other fuel suppliers across the globe.

“ANA takes pride in its leadership role and has been recognized as an industry leader in sustainability, and this agreement with Neste further demonstrates our ability to serve passengers while also reducing our carbon footprint,” 

ANA will see a financial benefit in the long-term, the fuel swap is easy to do with low demand for air travel, and the PR boost will win environmentally conscious customers. Plus, it’s good for the planet.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.