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Emirates to Invest $200m in Support of Technology Advancement in Aviation

This week, Emirates Airline has pledged $200m over three years to research and development projects aiming to minimize the effects of fossil fuels in the aviation sector.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, stated that the money would be used to explore new engine technologies, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply chains, and relevant regulations in the industry.

He highlighted that the airline sector would struggle to reach its net-zero ambitions with the present emission reduction pathways. Thus, the industry wants to collaborate with renowned organizations to advance research and development on better solutions.

Until more comprehensive solutions arise, the company will persist in upholding green practices in all aspects of business, such as utilizing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) wherever possible, efficiently running the fleet, and introducing modern planes into their fleet, he added.

The airline's Environmental Sustainability Executive Steering Group has been assigned to oversee the distribution of the fresh funds, backed by technical specialists, the firm declared.

In the same week, Wizz Air conducted commercial tests for a SAF supply chain, using a 37% SAF blend created from vegetable oils, used cooking oils, and animal fats. Passengers were flown from Budapest to Paris and other European destinations using Neste's MY SAF, supplied by MOL.

Yvonne Moynihan, the corporate and ESG officer at Wizz Air, stated that the tests show the importance of industry collaboration when tackling the climate crisis.

Wizz Air's commitment to sustainability is exemplified by its youthful planes and efficient operations. This new initiative for Budapest Airport proves that alternative fuels are an important factor in their strategy, particularly in fulfilling their pledge to reduce their carbon intensity by 25% by 2030. This further cements their commitment to technology and innovation, she said.

Just a few days ago, United Airlines revealed its intent to increase the amount of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) used in flights from San Francisco International Airport and London Heathrow threefold in 2023. This news from Wizz Air and Emirates Airlines follows United Airlines' announcement.

Furthermore, the Jet Zero Council unveiled a plan in April that contains several benchmarks, with the first objective being a 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) transatlantic journey in the period between November and December 2023 and subsequently starting the construction of five commercial-size SAF facilities by the end of 2024.

The legislation was confirmed to ensure the UK's SAF mandate would be accomplished by 2024, with the plan being implemented the following year.

Despite these developments, some are still skeptical about the scalability of SAF, and campaigners are calling for policies that can reduce the number of flights until zero-emission aircraft become available.


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