Air France flight 342 took off from Groupe ADP Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport in France for Montreal, Canada with its tanks filled with SAF produced in the Total La Mède biorefinery in the south of France and its plant from Oudalle. The aircraft did not require any modification of its engines, its storage or distribution infrastructure to incorporate the biofuel.
Current French climate legislation requires all French aircraft to use at least 1% SAF by 2022. By 2025, all French aircraft must use at least 2% biofuel and by 2030, 5% . Total will support France’s efforts by producing SAF on its zero gross Grandpuits platform near Paris from 2024.
The gradual introduction of SAF will help significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from air transport, according to Air France. Flight 342 avoided 20 metric tons of CO2 with its 16% mix.
“The development of biofuels is part of Total’s overall energy strategy to decarbonize the transport industry. After successfully launching the production of sustainable aviation fuels at our facilities in France last March, we are continuing to adapt our industrial facilities to prepare for the growing demand from the aviation industry in the coming decade, ”said Patrick Pouyanné , CEO of Total.
Air France has been testing SAF reliability for several years. From 2014 to 2016, the company carried out 78 flights powered by a 10% SAF mixture with the help of a subsidiary of Total. The tests showed that the SAF had no effect on the reliability of flight operations. Previously, Air France made its first SAF flight in 2009.
The Airbus A350 from Airbus SE was used for this flight, which consumes 25% less fuel than previous Airbus models. Airbus is currently experimenting with the possibility of an airliner capable of consuming 100% SAF in the coming decades. Airbus has also installed SAF refueling stations in its own industrial facilities for production operations in order to decarbonize all of its industrial operations.
“Sustainable fuels are a major lever for achieving our objectives of decarbonising the aeronautics sector,” said Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus. “Coordinated action by all stakeholders is necessary to increase the share of these sustainable fuels, which can be used today on up to 50% of our aircraft, without any modification or operational impact, thus reducing their environmental footprint. “
Alternative fuels and SAF are quickly becoming a popular option for companies looking to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. More recently, the supermajor Royal Dutch Shell plc invested in LanzaJet Inc., which specializes in jet fuel between other SAF solutions.