Paris Air Show: Air France goes beyond regulations on SAF

Air France SAF

As the Paris Air Show opens today, Air France is speaking out on SAF (sustainable aviation fuels).

Air France makes an announcement on SAF at the Paris Air Show

Air France-KLM goes further than the regulations*. The Air France-KLM Group has set itself the target of incorporating at least 10% SAF by 2030 worldwide. Not just on flights departing from France and Europe.

In line with these objectives, and the broader one of reducing its CO2 emissions per passenger/km by 30% by 2030 compared with 2019, the Air France-KLM Group has signed contracts with Nesté and DGFuels, for a total of 1.6 million tonnes of SAF. You can read the press release here. These supply contracts cover 3 of the 10% that the Group wishes to incorporate by 2030. Deliveries are scheduled between 2023 and 2036. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has already been signed with TotalEnergies. The Group is currently working with other players such as Engie and Elyse Energy to develop production in France.

The airline stresses that these agreements are essentials if producers are to anticipate the trajectory of demand and develop supply accordingly.

A fuel 4 to 8 times more expensive

In the absence of an industrial production chain, SAF are currently 4 to 8 times more expensive than conventional fuels. This cost differential is already having an impact on airline finances and ticket prices. The extra cost this year is €100 million (about $107 million). And the cost will be €2 billion a year by 2030 (about $2.15 billion). At current SAF prices in France, a 20% incorporation rate of SAF would mean a €175 increase (about $190) in the price of a Paris-New York return ticket in economy class

Setting up a SAF production site takes 5 to 7 years, according to Air France.

To find out more, you can watch this nearly 3 hours Masterclass on the subject from last May. You can also read our article on SAF as part of ReFuelEU.

*French and European regulations provide for the incorporation of 1% SAF on all flights departing from France from 1 January 2022, 2% for all flights departing from Europe in 2025 and 6% again for all flights departing from Europe in 2030. Beyond that, the incorporation trajectory set out in the European RefuelEU text increases rapidly, with a target of 20% by 2035 and 70% by 2050.

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King 

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About the author

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Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

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