United Airlines Invests $200M In Sustainable Aviation Fuel Startups

United Airlines Invests $200M In Sustainable Aviation Fuel Startups - Carbon Herald
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United Airlines has increased its investment in sustainable aviation fuel startups to $200 million. This initiative has attracted the participation of other airline companies, which also contributed to the cause, highlighting the industry’s growing interest in transitioning to sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has recently unveiled a strategy detailing the steps required to achieve the aviation industry’s aim of reaching zero emissions by 2050.

This strategy entails the establishment of approximately 7,000 SAF bio-refineries and the elimination of over 700 million tons of carbon dioxide from the air. SAF, along with other measures such as hybrid electric engines, is projected to account for 65% of the industry’s efforts to reach net zero requirements.

Relevant: United Airlines Launches New $100M Fund For Sustainable Aviation Fuel

However, even though the airline industry is highly eager to use sustainable fuels, their limited availability poses a major obstacle.

Last year, the global production of renewable fuels was less than 80 million gallons, which is a small amount compared to the 4 billion gallons of aviation fuel that only United Airlines consumes annually.

One of the main challenges the industry needs to tackle in order to meet the consumption needs and net zero targets in the outlined timeframe is producing the necessary 118.9 billion gallons of SAF.

Read more: IATA And Atkins Introduce Innovative Embodied Carbon Estimate Tool For Airport Terminals

United hopes to expedite the development of a sustainable aviation fuel market where eco-friendly fuels will be manufactured in large quantities at an affordable price. To show its commitment, the company created the Sustainable Flight Fund, intended for startups developing SAF technology or producing eco-friendly fuels.

JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, Air Canada, Boeing, GE Aerospace, JPMorgan Chase, and American Express Global Business Travel have added $100 million of investment to the project. Despite these financial contributions and progress made, the impact is not anticipated to be substantial until the conclusion of this decade.

Industry representatives highlight that although this advancement towards sustainability is encouraging, the government and authorities need to provide greater support in order to ensure its effective implementation.

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