Airlines in the Oneworld Alliance have declared their support for the World Economic Forum Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition’s 10 per cent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030 ambition statement.

The alliance members which include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines have all previously committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050. They are now among the 60 signatories that have backed the coalition’s ambition statement.

The alliance says that “advancing the use of SAF recognised by ICAO-approved schemes will be a focus…” but admits that it will require “collaboration with stakeholders to expand and promote the use of SAF”. As a result it is “calling for the implementation of policy settings to incentivise and grow SAF production.”

The alliance says that what is required to raise the current use of SAF from 0.01 per cent to 10 per cent in the next eight and a half years is “targeted investments, support mechanisms, financial grants and regulations have the potential of enabling the industry’s transition to SAF.”

Oneworld’s sustainability efforts are spearheaded by the alliance’s Environment and Sustainability Board, chaired by IAG Head of Sustainability Jonathon Counsell and with representation from all member airlines.

Each airline will chart its own course to achieving the 10 per cent goal. Cathay Pacific, for instance, says that as a result of its 2014 investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy, it has committed to purchasing 1.1 million tonnes of SAF over 10 years, which will cover around 2 per cent of its pre-Covid-19 fuel requirements on an annual basis. Cathay Pacific expects to begin taking delivery of SAF produced by Fulcrum and using it on a wider basis for its flights departing the US from 2024 onwards, when Fulcrum can scale up its production.

Oneworld Governing Board Chairman and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive H.E. Mr Akbar Al Baker said: “As the leading airline alliance at the forefront of environmental sustainability, oneworld is proud to support the World Economic Forum in its ambition statement for sustainable aviation fuel. We are committed to working with our partners to play a role in this important journey and call on all stakeholders for their active support towards the usage of SAF that is available at commercial scale, affordable and certified under the schemes recognised by ICAO and other relevant authorities.”

Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said: “Sustainability is at the core of oneworld’s priorities and our backing of this important ambition statement today further underlines our commitment. Expanding the use of SAF will be crucial in decarbonising aviation in the near term but we recognise no airline can do it alone. We believe that our support of the coalition’s statement will create further momentum for the industry’s efforts in sustainability and hope it will galvanise others to take action.”