British Airways Invites Passengers to Pay for Sustainable Fuel

Source: By Charlotte Ryan, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, September 8, 2021

British Airways introduced a mechanism allowing customers to buy so-called sustainable aviation fuel to reduce their carbon footprints.

The carrier said Tuesday it will also source enough SAF from BP Plc to power all flights between London and Scotland’s two busiest airports during the COP26 climate summit to be held in Glasgow.

Payments for SAF will be offered to passengers alongside an existing option to purchase carbon offsets entailing investment in projects such as reforestation. A McKinsey report last year urged airlines to explore allowing corporate clients to buy SAF as a means of decarbonizing their travel footprint.

Sustainable fuel has emerged as a key element in helping carriers cut CO2 emissions in the decade or more before even the smallest airliners are capable of switching to electric or hydrogen power. Still, its use is being held back by low availability and higher costs, as well as requirements to blend it with traditional kerosene, limiting it to less than 1% of current jet-fuel consumption.

BA parent IAG SA has committed to powering 10% of flights with SAF by 2030. While the U.K. carrier will buy sufficient SAF for all services from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh during the United Nations climate talks, it will be used across the wider BA network rather than on specific trips.

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