Cebu Pacific (CEB) has successfully conducted a flight from Narita to Manila with the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), a significant achievement for a Philippine carrier using SAF on a commercial flight departing from Japan.
The budget carrier utilized an Airbus A321neo for their flight powered by a mix (40 percent) of sustainable aviation fuel produced by Neste Corporation and supplied by Itochu Corporation.
This unique blend led to a significant decrease of 44 percent in carbon emissions per passenger, establishing a groundbreaking milestone for CEB's flight powered by SAF.
"As we await sufficient SAF supply to meet the demand of the entire aviation industry, this inaugural Narita to Manila SAF flight represents Cebu Pacific's ongoing efforts toward making air travel more sustainable.
"Other decarbonization programs that we have put in place include investing in fuel-efficient NEOs, optimization of flight plans, and adoption of fuel efficiency best practices to minimize fuel consumption. All these are concrete sustainability initiatives that bolster our commitment and support for the aviation industry's goal of flying net-zero by 2050,"
Itochu, the distributor of SAF in Japan, is eager to collaborate with Cebu Pacific in their efforts to promote sustainable aviation. This partnership highlights the increasing demand of SAF in the Asia-Pacific region, and Itochu is prepared to fulfill that demand.
CEB said that passengers on the inaugural flight were part of the celebration, receiving commemorative tokens and engaging in in-flight activities. The initiative was also warmly welcomed by Narita International Airport.
The airport's official honored the low-cost carrier for choosing Narita International Airport for this initiative being one of the select airlines to mount SAF flights in Japan.
Prior to the commercial flight, CEB signed a strategic partnership with Neste to work towards establishing a long-term supply of SAF across the Asia-Pacific. This initiative aligns with the airline's sustainability goal to gradually integrate SAF into its operations, thereby reducing its carbon emissions footprint and promoting environmental consciousness.
CEB operated its first passenger flight powered by SAF in September 2022 from Singapore to Manila, making it the first low-cost carrier in Southeast Asia to incorporate SAF in its commercial operation. The airline aims to integrate blended SAF for its entire commercial network by 2030.
Other airlines that use sustainable aviation fuel include: KLM, Delta Air Lines, Scandinavian Air (SAS), United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Lufthansa, and Air France.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), if aviation is to achieve its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, investment in sustainable aviation fuels is essential. SAF is a proven drop-in technology that has the potential to cut carbon emissions in the range of 70 percent to 100 percent.
To date, they have powered some 450,000 flights.
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