Qantas aircraft to be powered by renewable biofuel from 2020

By Qantas | October 16, 2017

Qantas recently announced its Los Angeles based aircraft will be powered by biofuel from 2020, reducing the airline’s carbon emissions on its services operating between the U.S. and Australia.

Over the next 10 years, the airline will purchase 8 million gallons (30 million liters) of renewable jet fuel each year from U.S. based bio-energy company, SG Preston. The fuel will be used by Qantas’ aircraft operating from Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to Australia and follows the Qantas Group’s successful domestic biofuel trial flights in 2012.

The fuel consists of 50 percent renewable jet fuel produced from non-food plant oils, blended with 50 percent traditional jet fuel.  Compared to standard jet fuel, the biofuel emits half the amount of carbon emissions per gallon over its life cycle.

CEO of Qantas International and Freight, Gareth Evans said the commercial biofuel agreement is the first of its kind in Australian aviation history.

“The partnership with SG Preston is part of our commitment to lowering carbon emissions across our operations and sees us becoming the first Australian airline to use renewable jet fuel on an ongoing basis,” Evans said. “As an airline group we are constantly looking for ways to become more fuel efficient and embrace new technologies and this partnership is a significant step on that journey. Our agreement with SG Preston allows us to secure a supply for our Los Angeles based aircraft where we have a large fuel demand and where the biofuel industry is more advanced. Through our biofuel program we are also exploring renewable jet fuel opportunities in Australia and continue to work with suppliers to develop locally produced biofuels for aviation use.”

SG Preston’s CEO Randy Delbert LeTang said he is excited about the partnership with Qantas and helping the airline reduce its carbon emissions. “Qantas is showing great leadership in its commitment to biofuels. We look forward to providing a high-performance renewable fuel for one of the most important routes on their international network,” he said.

Director of Environment for IATA, Michael Gill applauded Qantas and SG Preston on the new deal. “IATA congratulates Qantas and SG Preston on this landmark agreement, being the first commercial biofuel offtake for an Australian airline,” he said. “Deals such as these are critical to the development of an aviation biofuel sector globally and the achievement of the aviation industry’s climate goals.”

Renewable jet fuel is chemically equivalent to, and meets the same technical, performance and safety standards as conventional jet fuel. SG Preston’s biofuel is produced from renewable plant oils, which do not compete with food production and which meet Qantas’ stringent sustainability certification requirements.