Austrian Airlines To Take 1,500 Tons Of SAF In 2022

Austrian Airlines has partnered with international oil and gas firm OMV to power its aircraft using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The Vienna Airport-based airline plans to acquire 1,500 metric tons of SAF in the coming year.

Austrian Airlines
The SAF is made from used cooking oil. Photo: Austrian Airlines

If you have ever flown into Vienna and then driven into the city, you will have passed the OMV refinery in the nearby town of Schwechat. Austrian Airlines says that its SAF will be produced from used cooking oil. Partnering with OMV keeps the process as regional as possible and keeps transport between the refinery and the airport to a minimum.

A pipeline connects Vienna Airport and the OMV refinery

In its statement, Austrian Airlines says that SAF makes for a CO2 reduction of more than 80% over the entire lifecycle compared to standard aviation fuel. A big plus point in using SAF is that the existing fuel infrastructure can be used for both storage and aircraft refueling. Also, because the OMV refinery is so close to Vienna airport, a direct pipeline will be used to deliver the fuel as early as March 2022.

Austrian Airlines
The OMV refinery is very close to the airport. Photo: Austrian Airlines

Putting this into context, the use of 1,500 metric tons of SAF would save approximately 3,750 metric tons of CO2 emissions. These savings are comparable to the emissions from 333 flights between London Heathrow and Vienna on Airbus A320.

Austrian Airlines says that environmentally conscious customers will pay for the additional costs involved in using SAF instead of regular aviation fuel. All Austrian Airlines passengers can use the ‘Compensaid’ platform to support these flights and thus contribute to more sustainable air traffic.

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All about emissions

When speaking about the partnership in the Austrian Airlines statement, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV, Alfred Stern, said:

“Sustainable Aviation Fuels are a key technology for a lower-carbon aviation industry. They represent a readily available, easily applicable way of reducing emissions and are equivalent to conventional fuels in terms of quality and performance. We are very serious about our role in the energy transition and will continue to work on reducing the CO2 intensity of our portfolio in the future.”

In reply to Mr. Stern’s comments Alexis von Hoensbroech, CEO of Austrian Airlines, said:

“Air travel needs to become more climate-friendly, and sustainable fuels play the key role. We are proud to become the first Austrian airline to use these fuels in our flight operations – not only for climate protection but also to strengthen Austria as a business location. I am pleased that we have taken the first step together with our partner OMV. Now, the task is to work with policymakers towards a location-based initiative to meet the EU blending mandates from 2025 onwards and hopefully even surpass them.”

The Lufthansa Group is working hard to cut CO2 emissions

The airline industry is working hard on cutting aircraft fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The Lufthansa Group, which owns Austrian Airlines, has pledged to cut its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 and make all its business CO2 neutral by 2050.

Austrian Airlines
Austrian Airlines is a part of the Lufthansa Group. Photo: Austrian Airlines

OMV also sees the production of SAF as an essential addition to its jet fuel range alongside conventional kerosene. The firm says it is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and is ready to support customers by offering more sustainable fuel products.

What do you think about Austrian Airlines using SAF? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.