Cathay Pacific unveils biofuels programme

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways is to work with corporate customers to launch a major corporate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) programme in Asia.

The move comes as aviation players continue to look to shrink their carbon footprint.

The flagship carrier said it would work with eight clients including insurer AIA Group , Standard Chartered and HSBC to promote the use of SAF on its flights used for business travel or air freight from Hong Kong International Airport.

The move comes as airlines rush to set and meet net-zero carbon emission targets and other companies also look to cut down on harmful impact to the environment from their operations.

The project is “a first step in sending an important demand signal to the SAF supply chain that there is firm interest in the region,” Cathay CEO Augustus Tang said in a statement.

The SAF to be used in this programme is made from used cooking oil and animal fat waste, Cathay said, adding that PetroChina and Shell will supply fuel for this.

In the run-up to COP26 in November last year, the airline industry pledged to get to net zero by 2050, but admitted that hydrogen and electric aircraft would not be operating in significant numbers until the 2040s.

Therefore 65% of the emissions reductions will need to come from replacing the kerosene used today, 450 billion litres, with sustainable aviation fuel.

Given that current use of SAF is just 100 million litres, that will involve dramatically scaling up their usage.

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