Kenya Airways to Lead IATA’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel Registry

Kenya Airways (KQ) has been selected as the sole African airline to lead the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Registry, marking a significant milestone in the continent’s aviation sector.

This recognition follows Kenya Airways being awarded the Most Impactful Breakthrough award for pioneering the use of SAF on a long-haul flight from Africa to Europe in October 2023. This pilot flight was a pioneering effort in testing SAF within Africa, generating valuable data and insights to inform policy decisions, regulatory frameworks, and industry best practices.

“By playing a crucial role in the development of the registry, KQ contributes significantly to building trust and confidence in SAF as a viable solution for minimizing aviation’s environmental impact,” stated Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO, Allan Kilavuka.

SAF is anticipated to account for up to 65% of the total carbon mitigation required to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in air transportation by 2050. The SAF registry, scheduled for rollout in the first quarter of 2025, will enable airlines globally to purchase sustainable aviation fuel regardless of their production location, ensuring they can claim the environmental benefits for regulatory compliance.

“SAF is key to aviation’s decarbonization,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. “Airlines are eager to use SAF, and the SAF Registry will meet the critical needs of all stakeholders as part of the global effort to increase SAF production.”

Walsh further emphasized the need for a trusted system to track SAF quality and quantity. “Governments need accurate tracking systems. SAF producers must account for deliveries and effective decarbonization. Corporate customers need transparent accounting for their Scope 3 emissions. Airlines must have certainty in claiming the environmental benefits of their SAF purchases,” he added.

The registry’s development is supported by a pilot phase involving seventeen national airlines, the IAG airline group, six national authorities, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) including Airbus, Boeing, and GE Aerospace, and fuel producer World Energy.

These collaborations aim to ensure compliance with civil aviation authorities’ regulations, such as ICAO’s CORSIA scheme and the EU ETS, as well as adherence to SAF mandates, providing transparency regarding emissions reductions.

With its emphasis on compliance, transparency, and government collaboration, the registry will establish a robust and accountable system, accelerating SAF use and fostering a more sustainable future for the aviation industry.

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