Kenya Airways Leads Africa in Use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Kenya Airways ‘the pride of Africa’ this Happy African Day became the first African airline to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as the world strides toward achieving decarbonization to reduce carbon emissions. The sustainable aviation fuel was provided by Italian Multinational energy company Eni for a long-haul flight.

SAF is a biofuel that reduces the life cycle of greenhouse gases in comparison with conventional jet fuel containing similar properties as conventional fuel even though has a smaller carbon footprint. The first flight on SAF was from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi to Amsterdam Schiphol.

According to a statement by Eni Sustainable Mobility, this flight by KQ is the first that’s actualizing the use of sustainable aviation fuel. In that JetA1 fuel was mixed with Eni Bio jet that’s a product of Eni’s Livorno refinery acquired by distillation of the bio components produced from the Gela biorefinery.

Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka said that the move is highly eligible considering the recent push towards dealing with the climate crisis at hand. Adding that the collaboration with Eni Sustainable Mobility in piloting the use of sustainable aviation fuel has placed KQ in the first pathway of showcasing the possibility of SAF usage.

Further, the CEO lauded the government’s initiatives towards addressing climate change that has incessantly been a menace to the world at large, KQ is therefore committing to using 2% of SAF for fuel to reduce carbon footprint. Stressing that as the 15 billion trees campaign is championed, it’s high time the aviation industry reduced their emissions in efforts to solve this crisis.

“The data and insights from the pilot flight here will be essential in informing policy decisions, regulatory frameworks, and industry best practices related to SAF onwards. Indeed, this is such a significant milestone for Kenya Airways as well as a presentation of a great example for the vast African Aviation industry,” said CEO Kilavuka.

As the global stage calls for low carbon emissions in targeting the achievement of net zero by 2050, the International Air Transport Association boss highlighted that through an embrace of SAF, there would be a possible 65% reduction of emissions in the aviation sector. He emphasized that this would be a critical step towards ensuring that the aviation industry reaches net zero in 2050 as targeted.

Based on the invention by Eni Sustainable Mobility, CEO Stefano Ballista commended the emphasis put on solving climate change through suitable actions in response. He pointed out that the supply of Eni Bio jet to Nairobi Airport is vital not only for aviation but also for the company as it’s an evident sign of how the company can support the airlines in achieving decarbonization.

KQ in conjunction with SkyTeam is set to participate in the second edition of the Sustainable flight challenge that’s an initiative by SkyTeam encouraging space for healthy competition amongst the SkyTeam member airlines.

The Sustainable Flight Challenge seeks to increase innovations placing an emphasis on environmental sustainability within the aviation space as it seeks to increase knowledge sharing in the industry. Through these peer exchanges, there will be an eased ability for planes to embark on the use of SAF fully as it pointed out that by 2025, all aircraft departing from European airports will fully be using a proportion of the SAF.

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