Air France flight 342 took off from Charles de Gaulle airport on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST) with a blend of 16% sustainable aviation fuel in its fuel tanks, produced in France by Total from oils from used cooking.
This flight marked a “common ambition to decarbonize air transport and develop an SAF supply chain in France,” the companies said in a joint statement with the airport operator ADP.
Jet fuel produced from biomass or synthetically from renewable energy has the potential to reduce carbon emissions, albeit at a high cost compared to the price of kerosene.
But traditional airlines in the network have sought to exempt long-haul flights, arguing that a European-only SAF requirement could expose them to unfair foreign competition.
This sparked an angry backlash from low-cost airlines including Ryanair, Wizz Air and easyJet, who wrote to the EU in March demanding the rules apply to all flights from Europe.
Airlines have a “major responsibility” to cut emissions, Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith said Tuesday – while reiterating his doubts over European SAF quotas for long-haul flights.