Conducted in partnership with GE Aerospace, Boeing, Honeywell, Neste and Virent
Emirates has recently operated its first milestone demonstration flight on a Boeing 777-300ER, powering one of its engines with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
The flight took off from Dubai International Airport (DXB), and was commanded by Captain Fali Vajifdar and Captain Khalid Nasser Akram, flying for more than one hour over the Dubai coastline. The flight deck crew were accompanied by Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ CEO, and Captain Hassan Hammadi, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates Flight Operations.
Emirates’ demonstration flight, the first in the Middle East and North Africa to be powered by 100% SAF, supports broader efforts to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions as the industry looks to scale up its use of SAF. The flights will also help to refine the playbook for future SAF demonstrations, and support future certification where 100% drop-in SAF fuel is approved for aircraft, the carrier stated in a press statement.
Emirates worked alongside partners GE Aerospace, Boeing, Honeywell, Neste and Virent to procure and develop a blend of SAF that closely replicates the properties of conventional jet fuel. At each blend ratio, a host of chemical and physical fuel property measurements were carried out.
The test flight further demonstrates the compatibility of the specially blended SAF as a safe and reliable fuel source. The promising outcome of this initiative also adds to the body of industry data and research around SAF blends in higher proportions.
“We hope that landmark demonstrations flights like this one, will help open the door to scale up the SAF supply chain and make it more available and accessible across geographies, and most importantly, affordable for broader industry adoption in the future,” commented Adel Al Redha, CEO, Emirates Airlines.
“All GE Aerospace engines can operate on approved SAF blends today and we are helping support the approval and adoption of 100% SAF,” remarked Aziz Koleilat, VP, Global Sales and Marketing, Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Turkey, GE Aerospace.
SAF will play a critical role in the aviation industry’s commitment to be net zero by 2050, requiring strong industry collaboration,” said Omar Arekat, VP, Commercial Sales and Marketing, Middle East, The Boeing Company.
“The 331-500 auxiliary power unit or APU is an integral part of the Boeing 777 aircraft system. The APU provides main engine starting, environmental control and emergency back-up systems for the aircraft on the ground and in-flight. It uses the same fuel as the main propulsion engines,” explained Mosab Alkubaisy, Director of Airlines, Honeywell Aerospace Middle East.
“Test flights like this Emirates flight with Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel are an important step towards 100% SAF certification,” noted Jonathan Wood, Vice President EMEA, Renewable Aviation, Neste.
“Virent’s technology converts widely available, plant-based sugars into the compounds that make 100% sustainable aviation fuel possible, without the need to blend with traditional jet fuel,” said Dave Kettner, President and General Counsel of Virent.
“At ENOC, we prioritize working closely with our strategic partners to implement a national roadmap for sustainable aviation fuel,” stressed Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO at ENOC.