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Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuels (SAF)

IATA member airlines and the wider aviation industry are collectively committed to ambitious emissions reduction goals. SAF, have been identified as one of the key elements in helping achieve these goals. They are the only low-carbon fuels available for aviation in the short to mid-term.

Governmental support is essential to achieve the industry's climate goals from sustainable alternative aviation fuels.

The airline industry has played an instrumental role in advancing technical certification for sustainable alternative jet fuel which can now be used on passenger flights. The first commercial flights using SAF were achieved in 2011.

SAF derived from sustainable oil crops such as jatropha, camelina and algae or from wood and waste biomass can reduce the overall carbon footprint by around 80% over their full lifecycle. Test flights using sustainable alternative jet fuels have been carried out by more than twenty airlines and have demonstrated technical compliance with conventional jet fuel.

Our vision

  • To earn a license to grow in the future, especially post-2020
  • To increase SAF deployment on a commercial scale

Our objectives

  • Continuity: build a long-term sustainable aviation industry
  • Climate: deliver on industry stated environmental goals
  • Cost-competitiveness: pursue affordable and SAF solutions
  • True sustainability: We aim to only use sources for SAF that conserve an ecological balance by avoiding the depletion of natural resources

Our focus

  • Engage with a wide range of industry and policy stakeholders on all SAF topics and facilitate cooperation and promote partnerships between them
  • Provide policy support at national, regional (e.g. EU) and international (UN) level to create the necessary framework for the commercialization of SAF
  • Work towards removing barriers to the realization of a cost-competitive SAF market
  • Establish a roadmap evaluating the short and long term potential for alternative fuels
  • Promote the global harmonization of sustainability criteria for SAF
  • Raise public awareness about aviation industry efforts in carbon emission reduction
  • Educate and support producers on the technical certification process (i.e ASTM D1655 certification)
  • Establish forums for knowledge exchange and business networking opportunities for suppliers and consumers of SAF (e.g. Alternative Fuels Symposium)

IATA Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuels Strategic Partnership

IATA presents its Strategic Partnership programme for industry stakeholders who wish to regularly exchange information, communicate, and drive best practices related to the commercial deployment and development of sustainable alternative fuels.

By joining the IATA Alternative Fuel Strategic Partnership (pdf), members have exclusive access to SAF working group meetings (together with airlines and fuel experts), complimentary access to the annual Alternative Jet Fuel Symposium, and many other membership benefits enabling SPs to be well positioned for business opportunities. Please review the attachment for more information or contact environment@iata.org.

Key Documents

November 2017: Industry achieves 100,000 flights using Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel


​​​​​​​​​​See how airlines are committing to SAF

Swedavia flies on biofuel

AirFrance committed to biofuels


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